8

Belgium will ban anonymous SIM-cards.

Does this ban apply to foreign SIM-cards? For example, can I use my anonymous UK SIM-card in Belgium, or will I be refused access?

  • 3
    How could it possibly apply to foreign sim cards? That's just not possible – Berwyn May 24 '17 at 16:27
  • 1
    @Berwyn when a SIM connects to a network, it sends identification data back. The network operator uses that data to know which country and operator the SIM belongs to, and -in case they decide to accept the SIM operation into the network- they communicate with that network to report that the SIM is now active in their network (otherwise, you could not get calls while roaming). I do not know if it happens, but it is not far fetched to think that in this exchange the local network could get some info about your SIM, including if it is registered or no. – SJuan76 May 24 '17 at 16:53
  • 1
    @Berwyn the infrastructure and the databases already exist and work rather well, otherwise you could not use your cellphone at all and the network operator could not bill you. – SJuan76 May 24 '17 at 16:59
  • 1
    @SJuan76 Oh, and which international database exists detailing whether SIMs are anonymous or not? – Berwyn May 24 '17 at 17:05
  • 3
    @Berwyn it does not work that way. As stated above, once a SIM connects to a network its operator contacts the network to which the SIM belongs and obtains the needed data from it (and yes, there is a database storing to which operator belongs each SIM). I do not know the details (in particular, which information about the user is passed), or else I would be answering the question. But it is certainly feasible, and the infrastructure requirements are minimal (as in a bathtub compared to an ocean) in comparation to what is needed for the regular operation of any network. – SJuan76 May 24 '17 at 18:17
4

No! You'll be able to use your UK SIM card just fine. As an example, I've been using my prepaid T-Mobile SIM (US) in Belgium with no problems.

  • 1
    The ban only goes in force 7 June 2017 (next week), so the fact that you have used your prepaid SIM-card is not itself evidence that the ban does not extend to foreign SIMs. – gerrit May 30 '17 at 14:21
3

It's illegal to sell a SIM-card anonymously (this applies to stores) and it's illegal to have non-registered SIM-cards (this applies to providers).

It's up to the providers to make sure that no-one can use a SIM-card of them without being registered. Some let the stores register the SIM-card and the users info. Others made an app where the users can register themselves.

So only the Belgian providers and the SIM-cards they distributed have to be bound to a verified person.

This link provides some additional info (it is in Dutch).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.