Home FAQ What is The Best Mobile Provider in The Netherlands?

What is The Best Mobile Provider in The Netherlands?

by Rafal Sulowski

Recently I was searching for the best mobile operator and the best data plan in the Netherlands. At my work, it’s important to have a high-quality phone all the time. That’s why I wanted to get a new mobile with the best mobile deal. It’s also crucial for me to have access to unlimited internet 100% of the time. I can’t allow myself to lose internet connection in a crucial moment when working with a client. Because I couldn’t really find too much helpful information on the web I write this article so it’s easier for you when you must take up a decision regarding your mobile deal. For those who don’t really care about details, I get straight into the answer.

According to my research, the most reliable mobile operator in the Netherlands is T-mobile. On the second position is Vodafone and on the third position is Tele2. If you want an affordable deal you should consider Ben or Hollands Nieuwe.

In this article, you’ll learn more about mobile providers, mobile network and good deals in the Netherlands. I will also write about operators with the best internet connection and I will try to give you an answer to questions I couldn’t find clear information on the Internet.

My Little Research of Facebook

Recently I asked a big Amsterdam internet community about the best mobile provider in the Netherlands. I made a poll on a group ISN Amsterdam which at the moment have 77,734 members. In this poll took part 212 people from Amsterdam. Maybe it’s not a huge group but it’s big enough to give me a general overview on the best mobile providers in the Netherlands. As you can see on the image below (it’s a print screen of a Facebook poll) the most votes go to T-mobile. On the second position is Vodafone with a very similar score to Tele-2 which is in the third position. Lebara is on 4th and KPN on 5th place.

A poll created by me on Facebook group ISN Amsterdam

I also asked people in a comment section about any issues with the above providers and according to them, the clear winner is T-mobile. Below you can read some comments. Obviously, I don’t get paid for this article. It’s my private blog and I only share what I learned by making this poll and doing quick research on the internet. I believe you may have a different opinion that this is just opinion – experience-based information.

‘T-Mobile – been 10 years with them, not a single moment have I ever experienced anything wrong with them or with the Internet speed’

‘Rafal only with their contracts etc, had some issues, they tend to be very rude on the phone (and unhelpful) and they did lie to me in the shop. But resolved the issues with time and perseverence… t mobile is indeed great (quality and price wise), and if you manage to steer clear of their personeel then it’s great’

 ‘T-Mobile is the best for me. Their SIM only contracts are awesome. I have 12GB a month and 120 mins free calls in EU countries (unlimited in NL of course) with 20E per month. Never had any issues with the net or their reception. Their customer service is also super nice.’

‘Only relevant providers you should look at is T-Mobile & Ben, I’m with Ben and they’re amazing. 10GB a month for less then €18’

What’s the Best Solution?

It depends for how long are you going to stay in the Netherlands. If you stay here at least 1 year, the best solution for you is to get a mobile deal. That kind of mobile contract offer you the lowest prices of calls, SMS and internet. I think this is the best option and I get a mobile deal myself. For many years I had a prepaid Lebara SIM card but as I calculated my costs I realized that it’s cheaper to get a mobile deal.

Especially when you need a new phone this is a way to go. When you buy a phone on a mobile deal it’s already cheaper than its market price. For example, Samsung Galaxy S10+ price is 899 euros but if you get a mobile deal you pay for this device 750 euros. It’s a 150 euro difference.

Nowadays for 50 euro per month, you get the newest phone with unlimited internet, calls, and SMS. Of course, you can get a much cheaper deal, or you can get a mobile deal without a phone. Everything depends on what you need, but these days any mobile services are quite cheap.

Can Expats Get a Mobile Deal in the Netherlands?

If you would like to get a Dutch number it’s easy and you can just buy a SIM card. When it comes to mobile deals it can be a little bit of an issue. I mean they won’t make any problems giving you a mobile deal but some providers won’t give you phone in advance. If you want a mobile device you have to pay it up front. However, some companies will give you a phone credit. For example, you have to pay in advance for phones in T-Mobile, Ben.nl. But you can get a phone with Vodafone or Hollands Nieuwe. They will ask you for an official residence, bank account, etc. You should just visit a mobile operator and ask because things change lately and it’s not that easy to get a phone credit anymore.

A General Overview of the Mobile Market in the Netherlands

In Holland, there are 18 million active mobile users. It is more phones than people because in the Netherlands there are living 17 million people. It’s the same with bikes because Dutch people own 22,5 million bicycles.

Mobile services in the Netherlands are pretty affordable, because of high competition. They have also a high level of coverage.

What Documents Do I Need to Get a Mobile Phone Deal?

Some providers expect you to have an original Dutch document but not all of them. I have a Dutch driving license and they don’t perceive it as a Dutch document, because originally I passed the driving exam abroad and then I issued a Dutch driving license. Because of that, I didn’t get a mobile phone on T-Mobile. I had to pay it upfront. For some providers, this is not a problem and they only need Passport, ID or driving license and Dutch bank account is enough to get a mobile deal.

You may ask why some operators expect you to have a Dutch document if you want to get a phone. It’s because people used to get phones and then disappeared, so now they must control this. However, as I mentioned before you can get a phone with Vodafone or Hollands Nieuwe and you don’t have to pay it upfront.

On this website Link Here you can find a detailed description of documents that are needed when you want to sign up a deal with a particular provider. It’s in Dutch but don’t worry, you can easily translate it.

Mobile Deals Comparison

The best website where you can compare mobile deals is Belsimpel.nl – Link Here – On this website there are all mobile providers from the Netherlands and their offer (T-Mobile, Vodafone, Ben.nl, Hollands Nieuwe, Tele2, KPN, Simyo, Lebara), you can easily search for device you want and compare mobile deal plans. There is also extra information available such as reviews, which are very helpful if you are not sure which device or plan you want.

Additionally If you order your new phone before 23:30 you’ll get it the next day. That’s what is important nowadays. When I get excited about my new phone I want to have it as soon as possible.

Which Documents Do I Have to Provide?

First of all, nowadays you can sign a contract online without visiting a shop and that’s great. Your contract may be signed with confimation from iDeal or with sms verification and you have to provide copies of some documents. Below everything is explained in detail.

Private Customers

New Mobile Deal

  • Signed up contract
  • Copy of driving license, passport or ID
  • iDeal payment of 1 cent (this payment is just to verify that you are owner of account you mentioned in agreement, to make this 1 cent payment you have to contact service desk and they provide you with a link)

Current Contract Extension

  • Signed up extension contract
  • Copy of your passport, ID or driving license (both sides)

Business Customers

New Mobile Deal

  • Signed up contract
  • Copy of passport, ID or driving license
  • If you order a deal for someone else you have to provide authorisation with their signature
  • Kvk-number
  • 1 cent payment with iDeal (as I mentioned above this payment is to confirm your current bank account and to do this you have to contact service desk)

Current Contract Extension

  • Signed up extension contract
  • Copy of passport, driving license or ID (both sides)
  • When you get a deal for someone you must provide authorisation and signature of this company
  • KvK number

Can I Cancel my Current Contract and Change Provider?

Yes you can do this but you must have a signed contract for at least 120 before you do this. So yes, if you are not happy with your current provider or you want a new mobile device it’s possible, but only after 120 days.

BUT! There are contracts that can be canceled anytime. If you have on of these you can cancel your contract with a date of 1st of the next month.

Where Can I Get a Sim Card??

Buying a Dutch Sim Card is the best options for people who visit the Netherlands for an extended period of time if their roaming fees are too high. So there is an option to get a Dutch phone number in a matter of minutes.

You can get a Dutch Sim Card in phone shops, grocery stores or convenience stores. The only thing you must be aware of is if your phone is locked. It’s it has a locked contract with one provider you’ll need to get a sim card of the same provider. If your phone is unlocked there is no problem and you can get a card from any provider.

What is Better? Contract of Prepaid SIM card?

With a prepaid SIM card you have more freedom because you don’t really have a contract with any provider. You just add some extra money to your account and you can use it. When it comes to contract they are cheaper but you have to sign a long-term contract with a mobile provider.

In the Netherlands, you can get a mobile deal only if you are 18+. If you are under 18 your only option is to get a SIM card.

If you have already a phone number with a prepaid SIM card you can for a free switch to a mobile deal.

Expensive Phone Need an Insurance

Nowadays phones prices skyrocket and it’s wise to have phone insurance if your phone is expensive. I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy S10+ and I wouldn’t like it to get damaged, stolen, etc. I have too many friends who’s screens are damaged and I wouldn’t like my phone to be damaged, especially because it travels with me almost everywhere. When it comes to insurance I recommend you a simplesurance – Link Here. It’s easy, quick and reliable.

Tips and Tricks

  • When your phone is stolen you must contact your mobile provider and police as soon as possible. If not you’ll be charged extra costs of calls that thief is going to make.
  • Using your phone while driving is illegal in the Netherlands and don’t learn it hard way. Ticket for talking and driving at the same time is 230 euros. There is even a law coming that will make illegal cycling with a phone in your hand and it will cost you 95 euros. (get a car headset – this is allowed)
  • When you choose a type of a deal you should consider that WiFi is available almost everywhere in the Netherlands. You’ll have the internet at home, at work, in the cafe, in the main spots of the city. So you don’t need that much internet as you may assume in the beginning.
  • The mobile deal is cheaper online than in a mobile phone shop.

How to Call Dutch Number from Foreign Number?

Dutch number start always with 06 and when you call from another Dutch number you just type 06xx xxx xxx but when you call from a foreign number you must first put there +31 or 0031 so it looks as following

+31 xxx xxx xxx or

0031 xxx xxx xxx

No worries about emergency numbers. You can call them from any phone number and device. This is free in most cases. Be aware of numbers starting with 0900 xxxx. These can be very expensive.

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