- 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 cafés 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 like Krefel and Carrefour usually stock phones, computers and other electronics.
After sorting out the most crucial parts of the relocation process, expats can learn about different service providers on Meilleur Tarif. This website is 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 listed companies 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, they can choose a prepaid or contract service, with most foreigners choosing the post-paid option. Prepaid plans may look cheaper initially, but going beyond the allowed minutes may prove far more costly overall. 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 binding 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 function alongside a person's phone line. Many internet providers in Belgium offer complete triple-play services, including 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 from several operators in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia.
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. Although not all are equipped to mail international packages, supermarkets such as Carrefour and Delhaize often have postage points where customers can buy stamps and send 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.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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