Mobile phones and SIM cards in the Netherlands: ultimate guide

Adapting to life within the Netherlands presents a variety of challenges, however you’ve beat all of them. You’ve navigated the housing disaster and located lodging, you’ve even labored your means by means of Dutch paperwork and registered your self! However now, yet another problem begs the query: how do you arrange your cell phone within the Netherlands? 

Do you really want a Dutch SIM card? Are there expat-friendly cell phone suppliers? And what kind of cellphone package deal must you get? These are the questions you’re possible asking — and now we have the solutions. 

Right here’s all it’s essential to find out about cell phones and SIM playing cards within the Netherlands. 

Do I want a Dutch SIM card? 

Even when your worldwide cell phone is working high-quality upon arrival within the Netherlands, it might be value your whereas to modify to a Dutch SIM card. That is for a variety of causes.

Firstly, in the event you plan on signing up for sure providers (comparable to an IKEA supply or perhaps a meals supply) you might be typically requested to offer a Dutch cellphone quantity. 

That is additionally the case if you wish to be part of your fellow Dutchies in sending a Tikkie and even if you wish to arrange extra essential providers comparable to sure medical health insurance insurance policies or hospital appointments. 

It’s in all probability finest to set your self up with a Dutch SIM card once you arrive to the Netherlands. Picture: 7shifts/Unsplash

Secondly, if you wish to register a enterprise, you must all the time use a Dutch quantity. If potential shoppers see that your quantity is worldwide, they might doubt the legitimacy of your small business. 

Lastly, the Dutch cell phone market is flooded with varied suppliers, which means the competitors is on to supply some very reasonably priced plans. 😉

Cell phone plans within the Netherlands

Within the Netherlands, expats have three choices to select from: 

  • a cell phone contract (the place you are taking a cellphone plan and a cellphone on the similar time)
  • a SIM-only contract (the place you convey your personal cellphone), and 
  • a pay as you go subscription (the place you convey your personal cellphone and pay as you go).

Cell phone contracts (with cellphone) within the Netherlands 

With a cell phone contract, you buy a brand new cellphone and a set month-to-month subscription for calls, texts, and knowledge. You may typically select to pay for the cellphone itself upfront, or little by little every month, alongside along with your month-to-month subscription price. 

Nevertheless, getting a cell phone contract within the Netherlands could be difficult for expats. Signing up for a contract additionally means signing up for a sure contract period (normally at the least one to 2 years). This may be tough as many internationals arrive within the Netherlands and not using a clear concept of how lengthy they are going to be staying. 

Maybe you need a new cell phone? Then go for a Dutch cell phone contract. Picture: Jorge Luis Avila/Unsplash

For a similar cause, some cell phone suppliers are reluctant to supply cellular contracts to expats. Plus, and not using a few months of payslips to show to the supplier you can pay your payments, you could be turned away on the spot. 

💰 Value vary: ranging from €15 per 30 days for a really primary cellphone, as much as €60 for a top-line cellphone with limitless calls and knowledge.
✍ Contract size: typically 12-24 months.

SIM-only subscription within the Netherlands

Nevertheless, in case you are completely satisfied along with your present cellphone and also you simply need to swap to a Dutch supplier, then your finest wager is to go for the SIM-only subscription (SIM solely aanbieding)! 

Don’t let the title idiot you; with a SIM-only subscription, you’ll pay on your Dutch SIM card and a month-to-month subscription for a delegated interval.

While you apply for a SIM-only subscription you’ll be given the choice to pick out a plan that works finest for you. Maybe you want a variety of knowledge, or need to name house as cheaply as attainable — the worth you pay and the deal you get depends upon your alternative!

SIM-only contracts provide rather more flexibility than cellular contracts. Firstly, if wanted, you’ll be able to go for a month-to-month (maandelijks opzegbare) subscription. This implies you can select to cancel your subscription everytime you like (so long as you persist with the discover interval.)

Secondly, you may also alter your subscription in the event you discover that you just name your mom a bit greater than you anticipated otherwise you’re consuming up far an excessive amount of knowledge in your day by day walks.

This feature is nice for expats who have to work out a plan that fits them finest and who don’t need to dedicate themselves to any long-term mounted contracts. 

💰 Value vary: ranging from €15 per 30 days for a really primary cellphone, as much as €60 for a top-line cellphone with limitless calls and knowledge.
✍ Contract size: from one to 24 months.

Pay as you go cell phone sim playing cards within the Netherlands 

If you happen to’re searching for one thing low-cost and cheerful that can do the job then a pay as you go cell phone contract is the one for you. 

For this, you purchase a Dutch SIM card after which high up your steadiness everytime you need. Your credit score will normally go in direction of a set quantity of knowledge, calls, and texts (you select a package deal that fits you finest). If you happen to go away the Netherlands, no drawback! You simply cease topping up your credit score — simply be sure to don’t arrange your account to auto-renew 😉.

Pay as you go SIM Playing cards are an excellent choice for expats within the Netherlands. Picture:

It’s very simple to get a pay as you go SIM card within the Netherlands, as a result of, not like in different international locations, there’s no registration scheme in place. Which means you’ll be able to stroll right into a grocery retailer, postal store, or cell phone retailer and choose up a SIM with out having to indicate your identification. 

💰 Value vary: Vary from €0.10 to €0.20 per minute/textual content/MB, however packages can be found.
✍ Contract size: So long as you need! Merely cease topping up once you’ve had sufficient. 

Cell phone suppliers within the Netherlands 

So, you need to get your self arrange with a cellphone supplier? Nice! Here’s a complete listing of Dutch phone suppliers so that you can peruse: 

The massive three Dutch cellphone providers

There are three main phone suppliers within the Netherlands: KPN, Vodafone Nederland, and T-Cell (which is merged with Tele2). 

The vast majority of folks within the Netherlands use these providers, however right here’s a tip: many subsidiaries and MVNOs (cellular digital community operators) run their service by means of the large three’s networks. Which means you’ll be able to profit from nice community connections for a less expensive value than the large gamers. 

VondafoneZiggo has skilled development within the Dutch cell phone market in recent times. Picture: DutchReview


You’re possible conversant in Vodafone as a result of it operates in 22 completely different international locations and has associate networks in an additional 48 international locations. They’ve received stable protection, brick-and-mortar shops, however you additionally pay for the privilege. 


KPN is the most important phone supplier within the Netherlands, excellent in the event you’re searching for the most effective protection irrespective of the place within the nation you might be.


T- Cell is reasonably expat-friendly community within the Netherlands. Whereas their web site remains to be solely in Dutch, their cellular app could be switched to English if mandatory. 

Smaller however cheaper cellular suppliers within the Netherlands


What’s nice about Lebara is that they’re extraordinarily internationally-friendly. They provide their website in English, give helpful explanations of the completely different packages, and their SIM-only and pay as you go offers are aimed in direction of internationals. 

Additionally they provide one of many most cost-effective offers — you’ll be able to pay as little as €7 per 30 days once you go SIM-only! Nevertheless, phrase on the road is that their knowledge is just not the quickest on the market. 

Expat Cell 

Because the title suggests, Expat Cell is for expats particularly. One essential side of this cell phone supplier is that you do not want a residence allow or Dutch checking account with a purpose to get your self began. Nice for internationals who’re nonetheless on the home hunt! On high of this, you’ll be able to pay as little as €0.50 per day for his or her most cost-effective package deal! 


Simpel additionally presents low-cost SIM-only offers. Costs begin at simply €2.50 per 30 days for a subscription, nonetheless, you’ll be able to solely select between a one or two-year subscription — which means much less flexibility for you. 


Budgetmobiel’s web site is a bit tough to navigate nevertheless it presents nice offers for internationals and reasonably priced plans total. For instance, with their SIM-only subscriptions you obtain 100 free worldwide minutes or texts per 30 days (masking 45 completely different international locations)! 

What do I want so as to enroll in a Dutch cell phone contract? 

Discovered your match made in cellular heaven? Nice! Let’s run by means of what you must have earlier than you declare that magnificence. 

Formal identification

Formal identification means one thing official, like a driver’s license, authorities I.D card, or passport.

If you happen to’ve made it this far into life within the Netherlands and not using a formal ID then we salute you — however you’ve formally hit a bureaucratic brick wall. Unsurprisingly, cell phone suppliers will ask for proof of identification earlier than you’ll be able to signal on for a brand new cellphone subscription until it’s simply pay as you go. 

A Dutch checking account

Normally, you’ll need to pay on your cell phone package deal utilizing a Dutch checking account. Nevertheless, there are some expat-orientated suppliers (comparable to Expat Cell) who don’t require this. 

That being stated, life within the Netherlands can develop into fairly tough and not using a Dutch checking account. No have to panic although, establishing a checking account within the Netherlands could be good and straightforward! 

READ MORE | These are the most effective banks for expats within the Netherlands

Dutch cell phone insurance coverage 

Now, this one is just not obligatory — however extremely really helpful. Whereas most telephones include a two-year guarantee, this doesn’t cowl the cellphone for incidents comparable to theft and even unintentional breakage. 

That’s the reason it’s all the time value contemplating taking out cell phone insurance coverage once you choose to purchase a cellphone within the Netherlands. Many Dutch cell phone suppliers provide the choice to take out cell phone insurance coverage as a part of your package deal. 

Nevertheless, you may also insure your cellphone independently of your subscription. Corporations comparable to Revolut, Studentenverzekereingen, and provide easy, reasonably priced cell phone insurance coverage!

Will my cell phone work within the Netherlands? 

Whether or not or not your worldwide cell phone will work within the Netherlands depends upon the kind of cellular community your nation makes use of. Nevertheless, normally, your international cellphone ought to work high-quality upon arrival within the Netherlands. 

Your cell phone will most certainly work once you arrive within the Netherlands. Picture: Artur Tumasjan/Unsplash

Why is that this? Within the Netherlands, the complete nation makes use of a GSM cellular community. The GSM community is actually a standard phone system that was initially shared by EU international locations however later expanded to different international international locations. 

Which means anybody who arrives within the Netherlands from a rustic that additionally makes use of GSM ought to have the ability to use their cellphone and not using a drawback. 

Nevertheless, sure areas of the world don’t use the identical community, which means that internationals arriving from these areas will discover that their cellphone is just not appropriate with the Dutch infrastructure community. These areas embrace components of the US, Canada, Latin American, all of Japan, and a few African international locations. 

If you happen to’re coming from these areas you’ll most certainly have to get a Dutch SIM in the long term however you’re unlikely to search out your self fully reduce off from communication. In spite of everything, free Wi-Fi does the truth is exist within the Netherlands. 😉

Take a look at you go, stocking up on all it’s essential to find out about cell phones within the Netherlands — and now you’re able to make your alternative, hit up some buddies, and luxuriate in life within the lowlands! 

Bought a suggestion for an excellent cell phone package deal within the Netherlands? Inform us within the feedback under! 

Function Picture: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

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