- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Belgium Guide (PDF)
Expats living in Belgium can easily keep in touch with friends and family around the world as well as contacts in their new home. The telecommunications system in Belgium is modern, efficient and reliable. Mobile coverage is comprehensive with cafes and bars often offering free WiFi.
Hardware and service provision aren't hard to come by, with both fixed and mobile phones available at company stores such as Orange or Proximus. Bigger stores such as Krefel and Carrefour usually stock phones and computers alongside other electronics.
After sorting out the most pressing parts of the relocation process, expats can learn about different service providers with the help of Meilleur Tarif. This is a website run by the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Communications (BIPT) and is available in English, French, Dutch and German. It calculates the best service according to the customer's needs and wants. Most of the companies listed can offer combination packages that include telephone, mobile and internet services.
Mobile phones in Belgium
Mobile phones are referred to as GSM in Belgium. GSM stores are easily found in most towns and have websites displaying their stock and services.
Once an expat has the proper documentation in order, they can either choose a prepaid or contract service, with most foreigners choosing the post-paid option. Prepaid plans may look cheaper at first, but going beyond the allowed minutes may prove far more costly in the end. Nonetheless, both options do have their conveniences.
Internet in Belgium
Expats will find that most households are equipped with high-speed broadband. To take out a contract, most being for a minimum of twelve months, customers need to provide identification, proof of address and a bank account number.
Plans vary and don't have to be in conjunction with a person’s phone line. Many internet providers in Belgium offer full triple-play services which include television, internet and telephone.
Bandwidth in Belgium is relatively fast, but some internet providers have bandwidth caps in place to limit the amount of data transferred.
Television in Belgium
Belgium’s public television is broadcast by regional entities. For Dutch-speaking regions, VRT (Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie); for French-speaking regions, RTBF (Radio Télévision Belge de la Communauté Français) and for German-speaking regions, BRF (Belgischer Rundfunk). Satellite channels are available in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia from several operators.
Postal services in Belgium
Mail is delivered Monday through Friday in Belgium. If the recipient of a package is not home at the time of delivery, the postal carrier will put a notice in their mailbox. A legitimate form of identification is needed to collect a package.
The Belgian post office is officially called Bpost. Supermarkets like Carrefour and Delhaize often have postage points where customers can buy stamps and send packages, although not all of them are equipped to mail international packages. Many gas stations and convenience stores also sell stamps.
►For an idea of how to budget living costs, see Cost of Living in Belgium
Are you an expat living in Belgium?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Belgium. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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