Are you planning to move to the beautiful country of the Netherlands anytime soon? If yes, then getting a mobile phone is one of the best ways to stay connected, isn’t it? It is always seen that when people move abroad into other countries, they find it challenging to stay connected. But not anymore! The Netherlands, as we all know, is one of those countries which have set a high pedestal for itself when it comes to telecommunications.
The country boasts of a reputed 4G and 5G coverage along with varied mobile operators. Thus, in this type of scenario sourcing, the best from the lot can be slightly confusing. Here, in this page below, we have detailed everything to make your journey to getting a mobile phone in the Netherlands easier. You can easily sign-up for your preferred mobile provider online
The best mobile operators in the Netherlands
How to get a mobile phone contract in the netherlands
With the advancement in digital technology, today, signing up for a phone contract can be done both online and offline. This means if you are going for the former option, then the handset will be delivered to your address within a week. The following documents, however, are a necessity when signing up for the online method:
- Address proof in the Netherlands.
- Dutch bank account.
- Proof of identity to show you are 18 and above.
All those who do not have a Dutch bank account can open the same with mobile banking apps such as N26, bunq or ING. This is an essential step because many utility providers in the Netherlands accept only Dutch bank accounts.
Featured mobile operators
Different mobile networks in the Netherlands
Netherlands is home to some of the best mobile networks in Europe. Almost all of the country is blessed with a GSM network, meaning that the expats visiting the state will have little to no problem connecting their phones.
Even if you are coming from a country with a CDMA network, your phone will likely work in the Netherlands. When it comes to networks, you will be surprised to know that almost all of the Netherlands has a 4G or 4G+ network. Thus it is very likely that you will be able to connect to 4G wherever you are, barring some rural areas.
More recently, the Dutch Government is also trying to introduce 5G for mobile operators. However, when it comes to Wi-Fi the scenario is something different. Wi-Fi connectivity is not widely found in the Netherlands except for public buildings, offices, museums, and public transport.
The difference between a prepaid and a mobile contract (sim-only)
Expats that are arriving from other countries to the Netherlands always have an additional choice other than prepaid sim. And that is mobile contracts. The reasons for choosing either of these are many. But that does not mean mobile contracts don’t come bearing gifts. Irrespective of what people say, but calls, texts, and data are cheaper in a contract than with Prepaid Sim.
The option of signing a mobile contract also holds good if you plan to stay in the Netherlands for a longer duration.
When choosing a prepaid SIM card
Although an expensive option in the Netherlands, prepaid sims are much favored by visitors and locals alike. Also, for people under 18, this seems like the only viable option as mobile phone contracts cannot be signed up.
The following steps are required for getting a sim in the Netherlands, both online or offline:
- Dutch address to receive the sim card applied online
- Once you receive the SIM, top it up in local stores with the name Lebara
- You can even switch the prepaid sim operators for free with some operators.
Other than the online option, people can even buy SIM in the local market or convenience stores for their usage.
The providers that offer great online prepaid SIM deals are:
Mobile Coverage in The Netherlands
As with any other country, mobile coverage in the Netherlands is best in the cities. However, surprisingly the rural areas of the country are also well connected. If by any chance you want to check the network coverage before buying, then do visit the website www.nperf.com.
When it comes to mobile networks, KPN usually provides the best connectivity, although the others such as Vodafone, Ziggo, T-mobile, and Tele2 also rank well. For people who are living close to the border, having a network with a larger bandwidth is the best option.
It is sometimes seen that mobile phones tend to switch the network between Belgium and German connections and thus can earn you a hefty bill. Also, if you are moving to major cities such as Rotterdam, choose a smaller operator for your network needs.
Various Mobile Phone Plans In The Netherlands
Mobile Phone plans are cheaper than prepaid plans in the Netherlands. This is because these companies offer a great deal on calls, text, and internet usage. The deals also get enhanced if the mobile package has a TV package included in it.
Dutch mobile contracts are of two types, i.e., sim only or include a handset for a time window of up to 3 years. The monthly charges are usually dependent on the contract and usage, although an activation fee is applied. Payments for mobile contracts are made on a monthly basis, although a user can purchase additional minutes if the monthly allowance finishes off.
Calling in the Netherland
Another thing to remember is that the mobile number in the Netherlands has 9-digits and starts with the trunk dialing number 06.
To call any number in the Netherlands, you first have to use the international mobile code and drop the first zero.
- 0031 followed by a 8-digit number.
- +31 if dialing from another number.
FAQ about internet providers in the Netherlands
To lower your mobile phone bill, you can follow the steps below:
- Decide on your daily usage and speed
- Use a comparison site to get the best deals.
- Decide on the best package that fits that usage
- Combine your package for cheaper deals.
- Check for the contract to avoid penalties.
Although sometimes it is seen that the smaller mobile networks have the best of network connectivity, there are certain disadvantages to them. They are less data as compared to others. The data rate varies largely on wireless standards such as GSM and LTE. Also, smaller networks have macro cells that are affected by the multipath signal loss.
Piggybacking in wireless communication is often described as unauthorized access to outgoing data. While piggybacking’s usual purpose is to gain free network access, it sometimes leads to slow data transfers for legitimate users.
The Mobile Virtual Network Operator is a wireless communication service provider that does not own the network. It instead operates virtually over the wireless network infrastructure and also provides service to its customers. The Mobile Virtual Network Operator or MVNO usually offers services to the customers within its brand only.
Choosing a mobile provider always ranks as one of the biggest problems posed in front of people. But not anymore! All those who are moving to the Netherlands can sometimes check with some of the comparison sites or have a look at our own comparison table to compare the rates there. This will not only save up your time but also help you land the best deal easily.
When it comes to mobile operators in the Netherlands, the competition is very fierce. Therefore, it is essential to know about the different mobile operators before settling for one. The different mobile operators in the Netherlands include:
Out of all these names mentioned above, KPN is the largest mobile operator with around 35% of the market share. The network also claims around 99% of 4G coverage across the country and is soon launching its 5G plans.
The second-largest player in the market when it comes to mobile operators is Vodafone. The company offers various mobile discounts that attract consumers. Apart from that, T-Mobile, Ziggo, Tele2, all these Dutch operators claim a widespread 4G coverage and connectivity to help people stay in touch.
If you are someone who is about to move to the Netherlands sometime soon, then one thing is for sure, your mobile will find instant connectivity upon landing. Only those visitors who come from Japan, some part of the US, or use CDMA phones will find some difficulty to connect to the country’s network.
As most of the phones connect upon arrival, it is generally seen that people traveling to the country find no issues in connecting their mobiles. If you cannot connect to the Dutch network by any chance, then no need to worry. You can immediately purchase a prepaid phone worth 30 euro.
There is an alternative to this also. You can pick up your world phone or keep a second-hand smartphone to help you stay connected. There are many sites like refurbished.nl where you will be able to pick up a smartphone for usage.
Roaming charges in Europe were abolished in 2017, which means for people arriving in the Netherlands for long-term and short-term stays can enjoy the same rates. Again if you are moving to a new country for a long-term stay, it is better to purchase a local Dutch Sim card or a new phone.
There is a range of operators also to choose from in the Netherlands, out of which some are mentioned on this page.