Getting prepaid mobile internet in NL
UPDATE: when you register for the extra € 5 credit on My Vodafone, enter a (fake) Dutch address. One attendee was refused for registration when entering a foreign address, and was then refused for registration because his number was supposedly already registered.
Coming to DjangoCon from abroad? Mobile roaming is usually expensive, so if you want to use internet on your phone, it’s best to get a Dutch prepaid SIM card. For € 7.50, you can get 1 GB data. Tethering is technically not allowed, but they probably don’t actively check for this. The only option with acceptable pricing are two different SIM types from Vodafone.
Note: I have not tested these instructions myself. Use them at your own risk. This is all based on the Dutch Vodafone website. If you find any issues with them, please let me know :)
What to buy
Buy either one of these SIM cards:
- Vodafone Prepaid SIM only Meerwaarderen (€ 7.50). This includes € 10 credit but does not include any data. Not available in microsim.
- Vodafone Prepaid Smartphone Sim Only 1GB (€ 20). This includes € 10 credit and a 1 GB data package. Also available in microsim
If you don’t expect to do any calls home, the Meerwaarderen card is probably the better deal - because then you can pay the 1 GB data from the included credit.
The cards only come with € 5 credit, you can get the other € 5 by registering for My Vodafone.
If you got the Meerwaarderen card, you will have to get a data package:
- 250MB for € 4.75 by texting internet basis aan to 4000, or by switching on “Internet Basis BloX” in My Vodafone
- 1GB for € 7.25 by texting smartphone blox aan to 4000, or by switching on “Smartphone BloX” in My vodafone
The smartphone SIM already comes with the data package of 1GB.
If the data package expires, you will start paying 75 cents per 15 minutes for internet. I don’t know whether they send a warning about this.
I do not know whether you can buy a new data package within the same month, if your first expires. But in any case, you could just buy a new SIM and repeat the previous steps. I also don’t know whether you can get a data package of “smartphone blox” on the smartphone SIM, once you expired the initial 1GB.
If they were not already sent, get the internet settings by texting internet to 1300. If that fails: set the APN to live.vodafone.com, username and password to vodafone. Additional settings can be found on their website.
- 30 cent/minute for calls within NL
- 75 cent/minute for neighbhouring countries and North America
- 85 cent/minute for Western Europe
- 110 cent/minute for the rest of Europe
- 185 cent/minute for the rest of the world
- For international calls to mobile numbers: 26 cent/minute surcharge
For a € 9.50 one-time charge, using the “Voordeel naar Buitenland”, you will get 1 hour calling or 60 text messages to all countries on this list. I think you can only do this once a month. To enable, text naar buitenland aan to 4000.
For more information on pricing, see the complete pricing overview (only in Dutch).
Where to buy the SIM
To get an overview of places where you can buy the SIM, go to the Vodafone website and enter “1012AB”, “10 km” and “alle verkooppunten”. This will show you all the shops on a map focused on the city center. It will send you to generic stores, like Belcompany and The Phone House, and Vodafone-only shops. There’s quite a few within the city centre, so it should not be too difficult to find one. You may also find these shops at Schiphol Airport.
Buying additional credit
For extra credit, go to any of the shops that sell the SIM cards, or a supermarket like Albert Heijn (even the small ones in Central Station). But just buying another SIM might be cheaper, if you don’t care about keeping the number, because of the free credit you get.