Get connected with your new friends and colleagues in the Grand Duchy with this helpful guide to mobile operators and SIM cards in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg might be small, but you’ll still need a mobile phone if you want to talk to all your new friends and colleagues in the country. Thankfully, despite its small size, Luxembourg still has a surprisingly competitive mobile market, with a handful of operators and tariffs to choose from. To help you decide which SIM card is right for you, this helpful guide to getting a mobile phone in Luxembourg includes the following information:
- The mobile network in Luxembourg
- Can I use my mobile phone in Luxembourg?
- Mobile phone operators in Luxembourg
- Prepaid vs mobile contracts
- Mobile phone plans in Luxembourg
- Prepaid SIM cards in Luxembourg
- Luxembourg mobile phone numbers
- Repairing a mobile phone in Luxembourg
- Useful resources
The mobile network in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has a well-developed mobile network and you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting connected. The country uses the GSM mobile network, which means that most foreign visitors to the country can easily connect to the Luxembourgish network. However, you may have problems if you’re arriving from a country that uses the CDMA network. That said, many modern smartphones work fine in Luxembourg regardless of network.
When it comes to network coverage, the vast majority of Luxembourg has 4G or 4G+ connectivity. Coverage is generally better in the more densely-populated south of the country. In the more rural areas to the north, you may struggle to find 4G coverage. However, 3G is usually available in these areas and you may be able to pick up 4G from neighboring Germany or Belgium. Be aware, though, that connecting to another country’s network may be significantly more expensive depending on your mobile plan.
Wi-Fi connectivity in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has some of the best public Wi-Fi availability in Europe, with free public high-bandwidth Wi-Fi available in both Luxembourg City and Esch-sur-Alzette. You’ll need to create an account to use the service, and there is also a premium service that offers ad-free connections. If you need Wi-Fi at home, read our guide to setting up TV, home phone, and internet in Luxembourg.
Can I use my mobile phone in Luxembourg?
The majority of visitors and expats arriving in Luxembourg will have few problems connecting to the local mobile networks. The only exceptions to this are those arriving from a country that uses the CDMA network instead of the GSM network. This includes Japan, Canada, and parts of the US. However, most smartphones will still connect when you arrive, although you should ask your home operator beforehand about any potential costs.
If you’re unable to connect on arrival, you might want to buy a prepaid mobile phone at the airport or station. These can start at around €30 for the most basic model. Alternatively, you could consider getting a world phone in your home country before traveling. This can be a good option if you’re planning to visit other countries during your trip.
Roaming charges within the EU were abolished in 2017. This means that any EU resident arriving in Luxembourg can use their phone at the same rates they would enjoy at home, including data usage. However, make sure to double-check this with your operator before you travel to avoid any unexpected charges.
If you’re moving to Luxembourg – or planning a longer stay in the Grand Duchy – you’ll probably want to buy a local SIM card or even a brand new phone. There is a handful of mobile operators to choose from, each offering a range of deals and tariffs. Many of these operators also offer discounts should you choose to take out another service, such as home internet or TV.
Mobile phone operators in Luxembourg
Despite there being only a small number of mobile operators in Luxembourg, competition remains fierce. Each operator offers a range of deals and tariffs, so it pays to shop around and get the best deal for you. Many will include additional benefits and discounts if you also sign up for home phone, internet, and TV. Mobile operators in Luxembourg include:
- POST Luxembourg
- LOL Mobile
As the state-owned operator, POST is the leading mobile phone provider in Luxembourg and generally has the best coverage throughout the country. However, Orange and Tango also operate their own networks and offer a range of competitive deals. Smaller mobile operators in Luxembourg use one of these three networks. In May 2020, one of these smaller operators, JOIN, merged with POST.
Choosing a mobile phone operator in Luxembourg
Not sure which operator to choose? Don’t worry. Knowing which tariff and operator to use in your new home can be challenging, but don’t let that put you off. Before signing up, compare the various tariffs from the different operators and see what’s on offer.
Some offer mobile packages designed for those who live or work outside Luxembourg. This can mean you end up paying a lot less than you otherwise would, although bear in mind that roaming charges in EU countries were abolished back in 2017. Comparison websites can give you a better idea of which plan is right for you.
Mobile phone coverage in Luxembourg
Due to its size, most places in Luxembourg have decent mobile phone connectivity. However, 4G and 4G+ coverage are generally better in the more densely-populated southern part of the country. In the northern, more rural areas, coverage can be less dependable. If you want to check coverage in your local area before signing up for a mobile plan, visit NPerf.
Prepaid vs mobile contracts
Expats arriving in Luxembourg have the choice between prepaid SIM cards or mobile contracts. However, be aware that you won’t be able to take out a mobile contract in the country until you have registered at your nearest town hall in Luxembourg. If you’re planning to stay in Luxembourg for a long time, you’ll likely register within the first two weeks of arrival. You’ll then be able to take out a mobile contract. However, if you’re staying for the short-term and not planning to become a resident, you’ll be limited to prepaid SIM cards.
Regardless of how long you plan to stay in Luxembourg, prepaid SIM cards are generally the most flexible option. With one, you’ll be able to make calls, send SMS messages, and use mobile data on-the-go. Prepaid SIMs are a good option for expats who already have a phone and simply need a local SIM and number for everyday use. They also won’t need to sign up for a lengthy contract or provide a registered address in Luxembourg.
That said, many expats will prefer the security and cost advantages of taking out a mobile phone contract. With a contract, your calls, texts, and data usage will generally work out cheaper if you use your phone a lot. This can be a better option if you’re planning to live in Luxembourg for a while.
Mobile phone plans in Luxembourg
Generally speaking, taking out a mobile phone contract in Luxembourg will mean that you pay less for your calls, texts, and data usage. These plans can also work out even cheaper if you take out a package that includes home phone, internet, and TV services, too. These are available from certain providers, including Tango and POST Luxembourg.
Mobile contracts in Luxembourg are typically either SIM-only or include a handset. They are typically for 12 or 24 months. However, some operators also offer commitment-free contracts where you pay on a rolling, month-by-month basis. What you pay each month will depend on the contract you choose, but you’ll be able to buy additional minutes or data should you use up your monthly allowance. Some providers may require a one-off activation fee when you open your account. Monthly fees are typically collected automatically from your Luxembourgish bank account.
How to get a mobile phone contract in Luxembourg
If you’ve chosen to get a mobile phone plan in Luxembourg, signing up for a contract is fairly straightforward. You can either do it online or in the operator’s local store. If you order online, your handset and/or SIM card will be delivered to your address in Luxembourg. To sign up, you’ll need to provide your operator with the following information:
- a valid ID
- your address and proof of residence (registration documents)
- a Luxembourgish bank account or International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
Mobile phone contracts in Luxembourg are either 12 or 24 months. Typically, if you’re signing up for a contract that includes a handset, you’ll need to have a 24-month contract. If you cancel your subscription before the due termination date, you may have to pay a cancellation fee.
Prepaid SIM cards in Luxembourg
If you don’t sign up for a mobile contract in Luxembourg, your other option is to opt for a prepaid SIM card. These SIM cards give you more freedom than contracts, but charges are generally more expensive. However, if you don’t plan to use your phone that much, a prepaid SIM could be your best and cheapest option. If you don’t have a permanent address in Luxembourg, this is your only option if you want a local number.
Most prepaid SIM cards in Luxembourg cost around €10, which then converts into the same amount of credit. They can easily be bought online, in a mobile phone store, or at an airport. Since 2015, Luxembourgish law has required anyone buying a SIM card to show a form of ID, such as a passport. You should also bear in mind that you’ll need a local address to receive the SIM card should you order it online. You’ll also need to activate it before use.
Prepaid SIM cards in Luxembourg can usually be topped up in increments of €5, although this depends on your chosen mobile provider. You can top-up online, at supermarkets, or at your nearest phone store. Alternatively, you can top-up using your phone.
You can also use your phone from home for a short while in Luxembourg. However, unless you’re arriving from another EU country, you’ll likely face high roaming charges, including charges for incoming texts and calls. That’s because roaming is only meant for short-term visitors, and not meant to be used permanently. If you’re staying longer, you should buy a local SIM card. This will also work out cheaper in the long-run.
Luxembourg mobile phone numbers
Luxembourgish mobile numbers have nine digits and start with a 6. The following numbers will depend on your mobile operator. They start with different variations, followed by six more digits. Mobile numbers for the three largest operators are as follows:
- 621 – POST Luxembourg
- 661 – Orange
- 691 – Tango
Other variations exist should you get a SIM card from one of the smaller operators. You may also come across other numbers that use other variations.
The international dialing code for Luxembourg is +352. This means that to dial any number in Luxembourg from abroad, you’ll need to dial ‘+352’, followed by the rest of the number.
Repairing a mobile phone in Luxembourg
Have you dropped your mobile phone during a trek through the luscious Luxembourg countryside? Or perhaps you’ve spilled beer on it in one of Luxembourg City’s bars or restaurants? Luckily, you’ll be able to get your smartphone repaired easily in the country. Some operators offer repair services in-store, so visit one of their retail outlets for further information.
Alternatively, you can find mobile phone repair shops in towns and cities throughout the country. Search online for the most convenient location and take your phone along to the professionals.
- IRL (Institut luxembourgeois de régulation) – local telecom regulator