Mobile and postal services
There are several ways to make your international calls cheaper:
For many members of the international community, it may be important to be able to make and receive calls while travelling to other countries. Roaming charges do not apply when travelling in the EU, meaning that you will pay the same prices as at home. For data and calls limits while abroad, check with your phone provider.
International roaming agreements via cellular operators allow foreign operators to use their networks so that they have a broader international coverage. However, mobile phone providers charge rather high costs for making phone calls or data transfer with smartphones abroad. Even when somebody calls you when you are abroad, you have to pay for the call. This also applies for listening to your voice mail.
The best alternative is to buy a local prepaid SIM card once you are abroad (on the condition that your mobile phone is simlock free). You now have a local mobile number that you can pass on to family and friends. If they live in the Netherlands, they can make cheaper calls by using special 0900 numbers. They are only charged for the costs of calling the 0900 number. It works in a similar manner as making cheap international calls via your landline.
Unfortunately, not all mobile telephones are compatible with networks in different parts of the world. The USA, Canada, Latin American and African countries use a different network to the Netherlands. Depending on the bands of your mobile phone and those used by the country where you travel, it can happen that you cannot use your Dutch mobile telephone there. Please contact your Dutch mobile telephone provider for more information. The standard mobile nowadays is Triband which is useable in most countries. A Quad-band, also known as ‘world phone’, allows global use.
Drivers and riders of motorised vehicles, mopeds and vehicles for people with disabilities are not allowed to make or receive telephone calls without an aid, such as a headset or ‘hands-free’ car kit. Sending and receiving SMS and e-mail messages is also not permitted. You are not even allowed to hold your telephone in your hand when on the move. If you need to make or receive a telephone call while driving and you have no hands-free car kit, you must park your vehicle alongside and then make/receive the call.
This law applies not only during actual driving, but also while moving slowly for example in a traffic jam. You may use a mobile telephone while being parked or otherwise stationary. Violation of this law carries a fine.
The Dutch post office used to be an office where you could obtain all postal products and services and some services not related to mail. These post offices do not exist anymore and have been replaced by smaller postal shops located in other shops, such as bookstores, tobacco shops and supermarkets.
These post shops are still called post offices and offer all products and services from PostNL (the main provider of postal and parcel services in the Netherlands) and sometimes a few other services as well. You can locate a post office or find other postal services on the location finder.