How to Get a Belgian SIM Card and a Phone Number


Updated on Aug 30 • 4 minute read

One of the first things to do when moving to Belgium is to arrange a Belgian SIM card. After all, you’ve got to stay connected, don’t you?

In this guide, we’ll set you up for your adventure in Belgium by getting into detail about:

  • why you should get a local SIM card in Belgium
  • making sure you can use your new SIM card
  • how you can buy a Belgian SIM card
  • choosing between prepaid SIM and phone subscription
  • the best mobile operators in Belgium

Can I use my SIM card in Belgium?

In most cases, yes, you can use your SIM card in Belgium, but it’s not a long-term solution. Depending on where you come from and your mobile operator, different rates will apply.

If you have a SIM card from another EU country, you’ll enjoy roaming-free internet, and, if your plan allows, calling and SMS as well. But if your bundle is used up, your internet will slow down or charges will apply for browsing and calls and SMS.

If you’re travelling from a country outside of the EU, things get expensive. To use your foreign SIM card, you must enable roaming on your mobile phone. But without a proper international plan, the charges for calling, SMS and internet will be sky-high and the speed of the internet might be slow.

In other words, you can keep using your SIM card when you travel to Belgium for a holiday. In all other cases, especially if you plan to move to Belgium, you’ll benefit from buying a Belgian SIM card.

Where can I buy a SIM card in Belgium?

You can order your new Belgian SIM card online or buy it at any mobile phone store.

If you decide to get your SIM card from a store, you can usually choose a preferred phone number from the ones they have available. You can also buy a prepaid SIM at the airport, but it’s always more expensive.

Should I get a mobile subscription or prepaid SIM?

When deciding to get a Belgian phone number, you need to figure out what’s best for your situation; a subscription or a prepaid SIM. Both have pros and cons to consider.

Phone subscriptionPrepaid SIM
Requires a Belgian bank account or IBANNo bank details required in-store
Requires registration in the town hallOnly passport is required in-store
Automated paymentsTop up your credit manually at authorised spots or online
Always connectedRisk running out of credit
Better deals for intensive usagePay for what you use
You commit to an 18-24 months contractCancel at any time

Mobile subscription in Belgium

If you call or surf the internet a lot and plan to stay in Belgium for longer than 2 years, you should definitely explore mobile subscription options. But you can only get a subscription once you register with the town hall.

To get a Belgian mobile contract, you’ll need:

Prepaid SIM in Belgium

On the other hand, getting a prepaid SIM is pretty easy and hassle-free. But you don’t always get the best offer and, once your bundle runs out, you need to top it up to stay connected.

We advise you to get a prepaid or “pay-as-you-go” SIM card if you’re in Belgium for a short period of time, such as for an internship or an exchange program.

There is a catch though! To activate your prepaid SIM card in Belgium, you’re legally required to register it. You can do that online by logging in with your Belgian eID and a card reader.

So, if you haven’t gotten your Belgian ID yet, you should opt for buying your SIM card at a Belgian mobile operator’s shop. They’ll scan your passport and register you in no time!

Which SIM card is best in Belgium?

The quick answer is: Proximus, Mobile Vikings and Orange are the best mobile operators in Belgium and you wouldn’t go wrong with any of them. These Belgian phone companies have the highest levels of LTE coverage in the entire country. If you mostly use your phone for internet surfing, you should particularly look into Orange which offers lower data prices.

But if you want to find the best deal for your needs, it’s worth shopping around and comparing different providers through a website like Aanbieders. But make sure to check their individual websites for promotions too!

I’ll buy a Belgian SIM card. Will it work on my mobile phone?

Your new Belgian SIM card will only work if your mobile phone is unlocked. If your phone is locked, which is quite common in the US, you can only use it on a specific carrier’s network. So if you’re moving to Belgium from America, you should double-check if your phone is unlocked.

Is your phone locked? No stress! Just contact your carrier to unlock it. Beware that your account must be in good standing and, depending on your provider’s policy, you may be charged a fee.

Before calling, write down the IMEI number of your phone which you can find in its settings or by typing *#06# on the keyboard.

Unlocking your phone can take between a few days and a month.

So, we advise you to unlock your phone at least a few weeks before heading to Belgium.

Sometimes you can’t unlock your phone with your provider. For example, if it’s a second-hand phone or you’ve been using it for a shorter period than demanded by your carrier’s policy. In that case, you can try looking up online third-party unlocking services. But be careful, and choose trusted vendors like DoctorSIM, Express Unlocks or MobileUnlocked. It will usually cost you around €11.

Since Belgian mobile operators don’t lock phones, it’s hard to find a place to unlock your phone there. Your best shot would be trying some smaller repair shops. They might be able to unlock your phone by installing special software but it will cost you around €30.

Belgian mobile phone numbers

Belgian mobile phone numbers have 10 digits. They start with a code of the mobile operator such as:

  • 047 – Proximus
  • 049 – Orange
  • 048 – Base
  • 0467 and 0468 – Telenet

When calling from abroad, start with the Belgian country code “+32” and remove the “0.”

Now that you know how to arrange your Belgian SIM card and phone number, it’s time to get connected!

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