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Whether it is for finding a job or keeping track of friends, mobile phones have become an essential part of modern life.  If you want to get the best deal and avoid all mobile misfortunes then follow us through the mobile jungle to safety and a social life on the other side.

The first choice to make is the type of contract you want: pre-paid or a contract. If you are only planning a short stay, pre-paid is best since contracts generally require a minimum commitment of one year. Recharging credit on your phone is easy and can be done at most supermarkets, phoneshops and news-stands. It is not necessary to give identity details when buying a pre-paid card. You can choose between a pre-paid SIM only (just a SIM card, no phone), or a pre-paid with a phone included.

A contract is a good option if you are planning on staying in Amsterdam for more than a year. The advantage of having a contract is that the call rates are generally much lower, although you can also choose for a package with an amount of minutes and messages. In this case you pay a minimum (minimum charge is around 10 euros) every month for a certain amount of minutes or messages. Other advantages of having a contract are the free mobile phones, and sometimes it even comes with a nice present.  You can apply for a contract for one or two years. If necessary, you can extend your contract (in years). When you extend the contract you can pick a new phone, or get a discount (that can run up to 50% lower rates) if you choose for a SIM only contract.

In order to qualify for a contract you have to be 18 years or older, be a resident (having a residence permit or EU identity card), owner of a Dutch bank card and a Dutch bank statement (dated within 4 weeks). 

The five main networks in Amsterdam are KPN, Orange, Telfort, Vodafone and T-mobile. There are always special offers like a free phone when you sign up for a contract or a pre-paid. Pre-paid mobiles generally come in a pack whose price includes credit between EUR 10 and EUR 20 and a SIM card. Expect to pay from about EUR 40 to EUR 120 extra for an average new phone. Try to look at the different network websites to get an idea of prices and international tariffs before going to the sales point. Also, ask your friends what network they use, as it is always cheaper to call to the same network.

 Remember to keep the card with the serial number and PIN as you can use to get a new chip with the same number if you lose your mobile.


KPN: One of the biggest providers of mobile telephones is KPN. Contracts from KPN start at EUR 20 for 100 minutes/messages to EUR 200 for 2000 minutes/messages. For pay-as-you-go mobiles KPN also offers a Weekend bundle or District bundle (regiobundel). (


Orange: New! Orange has started an Orange Music EUR 35 contract. With this contract you can call from 12c/min, send 300 messages and watch MTV on your mobile. On top of that you can get monthly three music tracks for free. Not that into music? You can also compose bundles or call Prepaid. For EUR 10 extra you can ensure your mobile telephone.


Telfort: Telfort offers a lot of bundles within a contract (for calling: start at EUR 10: 60 minutes to EUR 90,00: 1000 min, for messages: start at EUR 3,50: 30 messages to EUR 15: 300 messages). If you call outside this bundle, rates for calling are 25c/min and messages 22c/message. You can also sign for a contract of EUR 18,00 and call unlimited to all other Telfort numbers. Telfort offers also special mobile internet contracts and business contracts. (


Vodafone: Vodafone Prepaid doesn’t charge a starting rate. The most attractive Prepaid box is Z11 (29c/min). Ask for possibilities for an extra BloX, these are special offers next to your regular Prepaid tariffs. These BloXes are also offered within a contract (start at EUR 12,50: 50 minutes/messages to EUR 150: 1500 minutes/messages). For example, you can sign in for a ´Voordeel SMS/MMS´; for 2 euros extra you can send twice as many messages. (


T-mobile: 2.2 million people in the Netherlands are connected to T-mobile. You can choose from T-mobile Flex, Relax or Pre-paid. T-mobile Flex fits your call behavior. You can choose from EUR 10 to EUR 40 per month, at which you can take your credit to the next month. If you would like to sign up for a contract, you can choose T-Mobile Relax where you can buy monthly credits from EUR 14,50 (12c/min) to EUR 134,50 (9c/min). Rates for T-Mobile Prepaid are 19c/min to 45 c/min. (

Mobile phones in public:

- In trains it is allowed to phone, but it is not done talking very loud because you may disturb other people's activities. Besides that, watch the special departments in trains where talking (so as well as phoning) is not allowed.

- In restaurants or clubs, cafes, or bars it is most of the time not allowed to make phone calls, always try to find a way where you do not disturb other people.

- Using your phone while driving your car is not allowed in The Netherlands, it will cost you about 90 euro when the police will catch you. Buy a head set or car kit, or just stop your and park, so you can make a phone call.

Last, mobiles and bikes are two things that get stolen most of the times in Amsterdam, so, watch your mobile while you are using it on the street, and put it in a safe place.

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