Tariffs

How to choose the right mobile operator and tariff

Which provider and what package do I need when getting a mobile phone in Holland? At first it might seem quite complicated with all the different offers out there. However, if you ask yourself some questions, you'll learn it does not have to be that difficult.

Can I use my existing mobile in Holland?

If you have a GSM compatible phone and your current provider allows you to 'roam' (check with them), then you will be able to use your phone in Holland. Be warned, this is an expensive (and not long-term) solutions - you pay for incoming as well as outgoing calls.

Can I use my existing mobile with a Dutch SIM card?

You need to find out whether your phone is 'unlocked' or 'locked': Some mobile phones are sold very cheaply (below cost), but are locked. Some vendors protect themselves from customers buying a cheap phone and switching providers by locking the phone. This means the phone can only be used with their service. Find out whether your phone is locked (a good test is to try a SIM card someone else with a different network). If it is locked, you may be able to get it unlocked (for a charge) by a specialist mobile shop.

Ask yourself these questions

Do I need a new mobile phone or do I already have one I can use in Holland?

If you already have one, and do not feel the urge to get a new, trendier, maybe smaller model, you can just get a SIM card. This will be cheaper than getting a new phone. You can purchase a sim card (either prepaid or with a contract) in almost any phone shop. Just pop off the battery and slide your new sim card into the slot, reinstall the battery, and you are ready to go.

Do I want a prepaid plan or a contract?

This choice really depends on how many calls you make, and on how long you are planning to stay in Holland.

A) Prepaid gives you a lot of freedom, you can use it for as long or as short as you want, with no obligations at all. The downside is that your calls are more expensive than with a contract. Also, when you run out of credit, you need to purchase new credit before you can continue making calls.

B) Contract: If you are planning to stay for (almost) a year or longer, a contract could be the right choice for you. You can choose from a 1, 2, or 3 year contract. Obviously, the longer the contract term, the less you have to pay for the mobile phone (many of them are for free anyway).

Choosing

After making choices number one and number two, you need to make the toughest choice. To which company do I want to give my hard-earned money?You probably already know if you want a prepaid phone or a contract, and also if you want a new phone or not. Thus you have narrowed down your options quite a bit, which is good. Every one of the providers (KPN, Vodafone, Telfort, Orange, and T-mobile) now offer good quality and good service. So you need to find out which pricing scheme fits you best. In all cases, the higher the monthly fee, the lower the cost per minute. Check the links on the previous page for the various contract types available.

Below are some links to independent providers of mobile phones where you can compare the different contracts and prepaid schemes provided.

Analyse your calling habits to find the most suitable provider or consider an internet and mobile phone package:

Further reading

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