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Looks like they want both a local address and a bank account to get a SIM card in Belgium (at least that is what I am reading). Is it really impossible to get a SIM card while travelling thru Belgium for a month? Looking for something like 100GB plan that will allow me to tether my laptop to my phone. Pre-paid would be best in my opinion.

I added the other 2 countries I'll be in, so if there is one plan that covers all three, that would be preferred. How do you work around this "local address" rule or is it just a bunch of nonsense?

Adding roaming to a Mexican SIM is not really an option because of price. 750MB is more than $50USD.

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    The bank account and local address requirements only apply if buying a SIM card online; buying in-person in Belgium doesn't present those hurdles. See this reasonable secondary source for more. Aug 10, 2023 at 18:22
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    Can you not add a roaming option to your existing SIM card plan? Aug 10, 2023 at 18:32
  • Does your phone support eSIMs?
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 10, 2023 at 22:28
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    @WeatherVane it can be very expensive for some operators, especially if you want a few gigs of data.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 10, 2023 at 22:28
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    You don't really need a Belgian SIM card, as there is EU-wide roaming, any SIM card from a EU country should work. Even prepaid ones.
    – Dr. Snoopy
    Aug 11, 2023 at 0:29

2 Answers 2

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I added the other 2 countries I'll be in, so if there is one plan that covers all three, that would be preferred.

Roaming charges for short-term travel (i.e. you cannot just buy a plan in one country when you are living full-time in a different one, but you can travel for a limited amount of time outside of the country you bought the plan in) are abolished by law within the European Economic Area (all 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), therefore, it does not matter which of those 30 countries you buy a mobile plan in. Depending on the carrier and plan, they may or may not also offer free (or at least cheap) roaming in Switzerland and/or the UK.

Note that, when I wrote "it does not matter", what I mean is that it doesn't matter for the purpose of roaming, i.e. if you buy a particular plan, the cost will always be what is stated in the plan no matter what country you use the plan in. It does matter, however, for the price. In fact, the three countries you are traveling to, are among the richer, and thus more expensive, countries. Germany, for example, is notoriously bad when it comes to any sort of telecommunications pricing, whether that be mobile plans, DSL, fiber, cable, you name it – for example, both my German mobile plan and my Internet are a joke compared to my Slovakian friends (my Internet is literally 60 times slower), yet, they are almost twice as expensive.

So, you can save quite a bit of money depending on which country you buy you plan in.

Note also that the exact same plan is sometimes more expensive when bought at an airport than in a store in the city.

It it really impossible to get a SIM card while travelling thru Belgium for a month?

The address and bank account are only required for online purchases. If you buy the plan in person, the vendor may require some form of identity document, such as a passport, but no local address or bank account.

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    "Roaming charges are abolished by law" - not fully. There are no charges if you spend some reasonable time abroad from your EU home country. Buying a card and using it all the time in another country will trigger some clauses in the contract that will lead to additional cost.
    – asdfex
    Aug 11, 2023 at 16:31
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The best option you have is to go to some kind of repair/off-license stores as soon as you arrive (there are many across the country).

Their customers for SIMs and mobile contracts are usually people from minorities with immigration background, often they miss bank accounts, address, sometimes even residence permits, but they are able to obtain a SIM card with data.

I am in no way affiliated with them, example of the shops I refer to can be seen here. and here, but sometimes also the "ethnic" mini-market will sell you SIM cards, beware that sometime there is a cumbersome activation process.

The plan you are looking into may be expensive, some of them offer 1 GB per day per 1 month for 20/30 euros, even if you are travelling 2-3 weeks only, the year data plan may make sense.

Personal experience: while travelling in Italy, the only plan that suited me to work remotely was a plan offering an only-data SIM for 150€, valid for one year with 1000GB of data. I got this sim from one of the big player.

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  • When I was in Spain, got a 100GB/30 days for 20 euros from Vodaphone. Prepaid so no issue canceling the plan at the end of my travels
    – boatcoder
    Aug 29, 2023 at 20:55

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