Symbol image: cell tower

Mobile communications and Internet in Belgium

The development of telecommunications in Belgium is roughly equivalent to the United States. Under the country code +32, there were a total of 15.03 million connections in 2021. Among them were 11.74 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 1.0 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 5.19 million webhosts, Belgium is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 279,411 of these, or about 5 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: Belgium

Internet speed for cell phones and fixed network

With an average download speed of 89.26 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, Belgium ranks 46th in an international comparison. The upload rate of only 19.16 Mbit/second was significantly lower (101st place).
In mobile internet, i.e., on tablets and smartphones, Belgium comes 37th with a download speed of 59 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 12 Mbit was only enough for 55th place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2023 from 180 countries.

Mobile phone rates in Belgium

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 25.70 was calculated Belgium in 2021. This is about the same value as in the previous year.

The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in Belgium spends 0.67% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.

Network coverage with 5G

In 2021, network coverage with the 5G standard was already 4.3 percent of all inhabitants. The proportion of the population with at least 4G mobile Internet access was 100.0 percent. The 4G network standard includes both LTE and WiMAX.

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in Belgium from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in Belgium 1998 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerBelgium is doing very well in the expansion of broadband internet connections. Around 93 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 42 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications. With around 2.3 people per household, this means that around 97.6 percent of all households are equipped with a high-speed internet connection.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

The increasing prevalence of cell phones and the simultaneous decline in the number of fixed-network phones also indicate a change here. While the number of fixed-network phones has declined over the past few years, the number of cell phones has increased noticeably at the same time. Most recently, there were 101 cell phone contracts per 100 people. This trend can be observed worldwide, but is not yet as pronounced in Wakanda as in some other countries.

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021Belgium
Internet users10.76 m92.79 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users4.92 m42.45 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines3.29 m28.41 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars11.74 m101.27 %361.66 m108.97 %

Comparison: Belgium / United StatesCountry comparison: Belgium / United States of AmericaThe United States of America and Belgium compared: demography, Economy, energy, languages and further dimensions.
United States of America: TelecommunicationTelecommunication in the United States of AmericaComparison of technological development and communication in the United States of America with the countries of the European Union
Netherlands: ClimateClimate and temperature development in the NetherlandsA climate analysis for the Netherlands incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls