What is the best SIM only provider? That’s how you find out

“What is the best SIM only provider?” The editors get that question Android Planet submitted regularly. The honest answer is there is none. After all, it depends on your preferences, budget and requirements. In this article, we therefore list the most important features of popular SIM only providers.

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Guide: choose the best SIM only provider for you

Before we do that, you need to know something about the ‘menu’ you can choose from. In SIM-only country, a distinction is made between two types of providers, also called providers.

Firstly, you have the ‘major players’ with their own nationwide telephone network. This group includes KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone, also known as the independent providers.

There are also so-called virtual providers. These parties do not have their own telephone network, but purchase call minutes, internet and text messages from the aforementioned companies. Virtual providers include Simyo, Ben, Simpel, hollandsnieuwe and Youfone. Tele2 also falls under this heading, because it uses T-Mobile’s network.

In this article, we’ll discuss the main features, pros and cons of the most popular standalone and virtual providers.

Independent providers

1. KPN


  • A lot of freedom of choice in bundles

  • Combination benefit for KPN customers

  • Select esim

  • Free 5G with a SIM only subscription


  • Smaller bundles are relatively expensive

With T-Mobile, KPN is the only SIM only provider with esim. This SIM card is not physical, but digital. You no longer have to wait for the provider to send you a physical SIM card, but you can get started immediately after taking out a subscription. Your smartphone must, however, be able to handle esim. This is not the case with all telephones.

Furthermore, the provider offers various benefits for customers of KPN Internet and XS4ALL and you get 5G as standard when taking a SIM only. Do not attach too much value to this for the time being, because the speed gain compared to 4G is limited. KPN’s prices are usually somewhat higher, but you currently receive a 2.50 euro discount per month on many packages.

2. T-Mobile

best sim only provider t mobile logo


  • Chosen as the best network in the Netherlands

  • Stream music without data

  • Combination benefit for T-Mobile customers

  • esim


  • Cannot be canceled monthly

  • Pay extra for 5G

T-Mobile has been chosen as the provider with the best network in the Netherlands for several years now. In other studies, such as those by the Consumers’ Association, the originally German provider regularly scores well. Also cool: with a SIM only from T-Mobile you can stream data-free music at Deezer and Spotify, among others.

A disadvantage of T-Mobile is that subscriptions cannot be canceled monthly. Instead, you must immediately take out a 1- or 2-year SIM-only subscription. You also have to pay extra for 5G internet, although this is not a major disadvantage for the time being.

3. Vodafone

best sim only provider logo vodafone


  • Big bundles

  • Combination advantage for Ziggo customers

  • Share subscription with family


  • Cannot be canceled monthly

  • It is not possible to adjust subscription

  • Sometimes pay extra for 5G

Do you want to take out a SIM only subscription for the whole family? Then Vodafone might be an interesting option. With the provider you can take out one SIM only subscription for you and up to four other family members. The five of you distribute 50GB of internet per month. Everyone can make unlimited calls and texts. All in all, this is a fairly cheap solution for households, as long as you are not large consumers.

That said, Vodafone also has drawbacks. For example, subscriptions cannot be adjusted in the meantime. Moreover, it is not possible to try out a package, because you ‘sign’ immediately for 1 or 2 years.

Virtual providers

There are dozens of virtual providers active in the Netherlands. It is therefore not practical to consider the most important features, advantages and disadvantages per provider. We have therefore summarized the general characteristics of virtual providers in a few clear advantages and disadvantages:


  • Relatively cheap

  • Much freedom of choice

  • Flexible subscription durations

  • Low connection costs


  • Relatively small (data) bundles

  • Slow with new technology (5G)

  • Customer service not always optimal

Well-known virtual providers are Ben, hollandsnieuwe, Simpel, Simyo and Youfone. The former uses the T-Mobile network, for example, as does Simpel (which also comes under T-Mobile). Simyo ‘sits’ on KPN and customers of Dutch new calls via the Vodafone network.

Virtual providers are generally cheaper than their independent competitors. In addition, you often have more freedom of choice in terms of bundles, especially if you are not a large user. For example, at Simyo the largest internet bundle is 15GB and at Simpel you can choose a maximum of 7GB. The odd one out is Tele2, where you can also take out a data bundle with unlimited internet.

Moreover, you can almost all cancel virtual providers monthly and the connection costs are usually lower. With KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone you pay 25 euros on the first invoice, but with a party like Youfone, for example, only 15 euros.


On the other hand, virtual providers do have disadvantages. For example, they are often late to implement new technology. In 2022, the Dutch 5G network will be a lot faster and those who want to make optimal use of it should not take out a SIM only subscription with a virtual provider. After all, implementing new technology costs money and their strong point is affordability.

You also sacrifice customer service at many SIM only providers. For example, you can only contact the helpdesk between certain times, or you have to send your story by e-mail. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, such as Simyo. In surveys, this provider regularly comes out as very customer-friendly.

Compare SIM only plans

Can’t see the sim-only forest for all the trees? With hundreds of combinations and options, it is still quite difficult to find a suitable subscription. Therefore use the price comparator of Android Planet. We continuously get all deals from all major providers, after which you can filter by number of call minutes, internet, subscription duration and, for example, connection costs.

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