There are several criteria that are important to consider when choosing a mobile phone service. Depending on your needs, you will use one of the following three possibilities:

  • subscription services with a contract, which includes a certain number of minutes that you can call, text messages you can send, and data. You receive a monthly bill (for the subscription and, if you have exceeded your contractual number of minutes, a fee for these minutes). Subscription services will charge an initial connection fee, but there are many special offers available aimed at attracting new customers – so shop around
  • a pre-pay service based on buying a card with call units and no subscription fee. You can read more about this below.
  • sim-only; you buy your own mobile phone (make sure it’s simlock-free; simlock-vrij!) and take out a ‘sim-only’ subscription, which means that you are sent a sim-card, without an accompanying mobile phone. This can be a financially quite attractive option. To compare rates, visit


This is a popular choice among Dutch users, particularly young people. One reason is that the pre-pay phone allows users to pay for their calls in advance, and thus avoid subscription fees and hefty unexpected bills. They are cheap, convenient and provide enough coverage for most Dutch users in the Netherlands. Note that each pre-pay phone will only be suitable for that particular network.

Pre-pay cards are available in denominations of 10, 20, 25, 40, and 50 euros and can be bought at a variety of locations, such as supermarkets and drugstores, as well as the phone company-stores. For more on the various arrangements offered by the mobile phone companies, visit their websites, as they are continually subject to change.


If you are buying a (subscription, pre-pay or sim-lock free) mobile phone, you can do this at the larger department stores, electronic chains, brand stores, non-brand telephone stores, or, simply, via the Internet. It is always worth your while to shop around, as both the brand stores and the non-brand stores may offer certain reductions and other special promotions. Most mobile phone companies include a mobile phone in their subscription package.


  • Be sure to bring your passport / driver’s license and proof (such as a bank statement) of your most current address if you are planning on buying a mobile phone with a subscription in a store. 
  • You can switch companies and even keep your own phone number. Check with your company to see what the rules are (on giving notice and over what period), if you are not yet sure which one to go for.
  • You may not use a mobile phone while driving unless you are using a hands-free device.

Internet Service Providers

There are more than 100 Internet service providers active on the Dutch market. For an overview of Internet, telephone and television providers, you can also visit;


In the Netherlands, approximately 7.47 million households are provided with TV and radio via the cable. At an average of € 18 a month, access is so cheap that most people don’t even know what they pay for it. But there is more than cable; a major player on the TV market these days is digital TV; 8 in 10 households watch digital TV. Currently, there are four ways to receive a digital TV signal; via cable, ether, the Internet (IP, it requires an ADSL-connection), or via satellite.

If you do not have cable (by choice or because you live in a remote area) or want to see channels not available through cable, you can opt for satellite TV. This involves finding an electronics store or other distributor who sells satellite dishes, and arranging for its installation.

For only € 18 a month, you can already watch 60 digital channels, making access is so cheap that you probably won’t even know that you’re paying for it. If you opt for Internet and TV, you pay anywhere between € 30 and € 55, depending on the options you choose: watching missed programs, TV on your tablet, being able to pause your program, multiple TVs, On Demand Films, etc. An excellent overview of the various providers and their packages can be found on and clicking on Internet, bellen en TV.

Recently Posted on

If you’re an expat living and looking for work in the Netherlands then there are some vital differences you should know about in regards to your job applications. In the Netherlands, as with most places in Europe, the norm is a CV rather than the resume which is commonly used in the United States amongst … Continue reading "The Difference Between a Resume and a CV"
Birthdays If you feel like skipping your birthday, you may be in for a challenge when relocating to the Netherlands, as birthdays are being held in high regard for children and adults alike. Most companies even keep a register of their employees’ birthdays so that none are forgotten and other companies even have a special … Continue reading "Gift giving in the Netherlands-all you need to know for those special moments"
Rain management With the Netherlands being a very rainy country, you will automatically have the title of ‘Rain Project Manager’ bestowed upon you when settling in this land. Rain boots and rain gear should be on top of your shopping list when relocating here. Furthermore, always carry a role of bin liner and a pair … Continue reading "Tips and tricks for Daily Life in the Netherlands"
House plants The Dutch are very fond of houseplants, the more the merrier! You will find the typical Dutch home filled with a large amount of house plants in all shapes, sizes and colours. Walking the average street, you will spot window sills with many houseplants on display. Placing two identical house plants next to … Continue reading "10 things you will find in every Dutch home"
Obtaining a mortgage as an expat in the Netherlands can be a complex process, as the requirements and regulations for obtaining a mortgage can vary depending on your citizenship and the type of residence you are looking to purchase. However, with the right preparation and understanding of the process, it is possible for expats to … Continue reading "Obtaining a Mortgage as an Expat in the Netherlands"
It is that time of year again; the new and annually-updated version of The Holland Handbook is here and ready to be enjoyed! Not only that, but this is the 23rd edition! More than twenty years ago, a modest group of three people sat around a table to discuss the possibility of creating a handbook … Continue reading "The Holland Handbook 2023"