Getting Connected to Landlines in the Netherlands

Find out how to get your new home connected to the landline telephone service in the Netherlands...

Handy Tips Numbers
To call internationally from the Netherlands:
Dial the exit code followed by the country code and number
Exit code: 00 +country code +tel no
To call internationally to the Netherlands:
Dial the entry code then the Dutch number excluding the initial 0
Entry code: 31 +tel no
Directory Enquiries National 0900 8008
Directory Enquiries International 0900 8418
Toll-free numbers all start: 0800
collect calls 0800 0101
Dutch Yellow Pages - Goudengids Website
Dutch White Pages - De Telefoongids Website

Land Lines

It is rare for individual homes to use landlines. Most phone services to private households are offered via cable, usually bundled with an Internet and television package. For the few remaining homes in the Netherlands that do not yet have cable access (less than two percent), a fixed line is required.

The market is privatised although the original state-run KPN (Koninklijke PTT Nederland) is still the largest telecom company in the country providing many business and private connections. KPN has various brands it uses to supply telecommunications services, including fixed and mobile phone services, television/cable, and internet: Telfort, Hi, XS4ALL, Simyo. There are other landline telephone providers, but these are largely for business customers.

Major telephone providers are also major service providers of Internet and cable TV.

To get a land line telephone service with KPN:

Once an appointment has been set up, it should take five working days to get connected.

The following are needed to get a telephone connection:

  • Proof of identification
  • Residence permit
  • EU bank account details for direct debit payments
  • People from outside the EU pay a deposit for a telephone number

There are two types of connections available:

  • A normal telephone line, the cheapest option allows one line and one number
  • An ISDN line (more expensive) will provide two lines and four voice numbers

Five different types of contract are offered:

  • Bel Budget: cheapest monthly fixed cost, highest per minute calling fees
  • Bel Basis: higher monthly fixed cost, cheaper per minute calling fees
  • BelVrij: unlimited calls to Dutch landline and mobile numbers. Three different options available.

Public Telephones

Public telephone booths may still be found in main towns and cities. Many now only accept credit cards and pre-paid cards with values starting at €5. The cards may be bought in railway stations, post offices and newsagents. Each operator has their own cards which are not generally interchangeable.

International calls can be made from most public telephones by dialling 00 followed by the relevant country code. If a public telephone can't be used to make an international call go to the nearest post office, where they should be able to help.

Essential contact information for landline telephones, mobile cellular phones and Internet connections for private, domestic or business use in the Netherlands, as provided by the national telecommunications supplier and other suppliers.
Handy Tips Numbers

To call internationally from the Netherlands:
Dial the exit code followed by the country code and number

Exit code: 00 +country code +tel no

To call internationally to the Netherlands:
Dial the entry code then the Dutch number excluding the initial 0

Entry code: 31 +tel no

Directory Enquiries National

0900 8008

Directory Enquiries International 0900 8418
Toll-free numbers all start: 0800
collect calls 0800 0101
National and international operator calls 0800 0410
Dutch telephone directories Click here

Land Lines

The market is privatised although the original state-run KPN is still the largest telecom company in the country providing many business and private connections. Other telephone providers include Ziggo and UPC which offer phone connections through cable networks; a cable connection (for television and/or Internet) is necessary to use either of these.

There are other landline telephone providers, but these are largely for business customers.

To get a land line telephone service with KPN:

  • Go to a KPN Primafoon shop in any city centre
  • Or call their customer service
    Tel: 0900 0244, choose option 5 for an English speaking operator

Once an appointment has been set up, it should take five working days to get connected.

The following are needed to get a telephone connection:

  • Proof of identification
  • Residence permit or employment contract
  • People from outside the EU pay a deposit for a telephone number

There are two types of connections available:

  • A normal telephone line, the cheapest option allows one line and one number
  • An ISDN line (more expensive) will provide two lines and four voice numbers

Five different types of contract are offered:

  • Bel Budget: cheapest monthly fixed cost, highest per minute calling fees
  • Bel Basis: higher monthly fixed cost, cheaper per minute calling fees

Cellular/Mobile Telephones

KPN, while still state-owned, was the first operator to introduce mobile telephones in the country. There are now many operators available: KPN operates on a GSM 900 and DCS 1800 networks, Vodafone on a 900 GSM network, Online, Telfort and T-Mobile operate on a GSM 1800 network. Therefore, nearly all cellular telephones in the country are at least dual-band and many of them are tri-band and work on the North-American GSM 1900 network.

Note: hands-free sets are mandatory when driving in the Netherlands.

Getting connected to a Dutch mobile phone

Getting connected can be done online, via telephone or in a shop - the documents required are:

  • Proof of identity
  • Bank details (a credit check is usually done by the cellphone company beforehand)
  • Non-EU residents might be asked for a deposit to get a mobile phone, and in some cases they might even be refused

The following is a list of the major providers:

  • KPN
    Tel: 0800 0507
    Website (in Dutch)
  • Vodafone
    Tel: 0800 0560 and option 3 for an English operator
    Website
  • Telfort
    Tel: 0800 1771
    Website
  • Online
    Tel
    : 0900 0133 or 0900 9515
    Website
  • T-mobile
    Tel: 0800 7111 or 0800 7123
    Website
  • Ben.nl
    Tel
    : 0900 040 1405
    Website

There is a choice between subscribing to a contract (abonnementen), or taking a pay-as-you-go (prepaid) system. The rates can vary from one company to another as well as the way charges are calculated (rates of calls made during the day, evening or weekends), types of use (voice, text, data) and whether the telephone handset is included in the deal.

Using a foreign mobile telephone in the Netherlands

If the cellular telephone is GSM compatible, and its current provider allows international roaming, then it may be possible to use a foreign telephone in the Netherlands. However, most providers will charge both for incoming and outgoing calls so this might be quite expensive.

Another option is to use the foreign cellular telephone with a Dutch SIM card provided the telephone is not locked. SIM cards are available at most phone shops.

Information and comparisons

The following links (all in Dutch) provide information and comparisons for telephone products and services:

Lost or stolen mobile telephones

All mobile phones have a unique code, the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) code. This belongs to the handset and is associated with a card, the SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) card, which holds the telephone number assigned to a customer.

  • A SIM card. Holds the telephone number and memory. Access can be protected by personalising the card with a 4-digit PIN number
  • An IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity). This is a mobile telephone's unique identification number

The IMEI number provides protection if a phone is lost or stolen. The IMEI code is clearly shown on the paperwork at time of purchase. Note it down and keep it separate from the mobile. Or to find the IMEI number, enter: * # 0 6 # on the keypad.

The loss or theft of a mobile cell phone must be reported to the service provider. They will need the IMEI number or details of the SIM card. The service will be suspended and the telephone blocked making it impossible for anyone else to use it, and the phone may be traced. The owner is responsible for payment of any calls made until the SIM is blocked unless they have taken out insurance with the supplier.

If the phone is stolen, a declaration can also be made at the nearest police station; police must be supplied with IMEI number.

Public Telephones

Public telephone booths may still be found in main towns and cities. Many now only accept credit cards and pre-paid cards with values starting at €5. The cards may be bought in railway stations, post offices and newsagents. Each operator has their own cards which are not generally interchangeable.

International calls can be made from most public telephones by dialling 00 followed by the relevant country code. If a public telephone can't be used to make an international call go to the nearest post office where they should be able to help.

Internet in the Netherlands

Getting connected to the Internet is quite straightforward in the Netherlands. Various options include: Dial-Up, ISDN, ADSL, or Cable. Powersocket, Fiberglass, WiFi and Satellite connections are also available although less common. Most providers have good connections and services. They offer similar packages and reasonable customer service.

Getting connected to the Internet

Broadband connections take about five working days to be installed. Most connections are paid services, but some free Dial-Up connections are also available, in which case there is still a charge for the telephone call.

Getting connected can be done online (but most websites are in Dutch only) or via telephone. The company will run a postal check, and explain the various options available (download/upload speed, contracts). A form then needs to be filled in and the connection is established once the contract is signed.

There are many Internet providers in the Netherlands. The website Internetten (in Dutch) gives comparisons on the various packages and products available.

Dial-Up

Most Dial-Up Internet service providers offer three types of access :

  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Flat rate (fixed amount per month for unlimited access)
  • A combination of the options above

Dial-up providers

Free Dial-up provider:

High-Speed Access

ADSL and Cable connections are widely available, and there are many options to choose from. In some cases, set up fees and modem costs will be charged, in other cases not. Some providers may set a downloading limit, look for the words "Fair Use Policy" or Geen Datalimiet (no data limit) for unlimited use.

ADSL providers:

Cable providers:

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