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Door Suzanne 25-11-2022 (laatste wijziging 29-02-2024)

Which provider offers the best mobile network in The Netherlands?

Door Suzanne 25-11-2022 (laatste wijziging 29-02-2024)

You're looking for a new mobile provider in The Netherlands. There's just one thing holding you back...

What if you don't have good coverage when you choose your (new) provider? You don't want to be stuck in a contract without being able to have a good conversation with someone on the phone. 

Long story short: which provider offers the best mobile network?

Contents

Summary

Don't worry too much about the coverage. Every mobile operator in The Netherlands has a coverage above 90%. 

There are differences in other aspects though: internet speed for example, or the quality of a phone conversation. 

KPN scores best in almost all of the tests, usually followed closely by Odido and subsequently by Vodafone. Still: you can't really go wrong. Every provider offers a tight coverage and a high internet speed. Even providers that don't have their own network, but offer their services on existing networks.

Curious as to what is the best option for you?

compare providers

Or read more:

Which mobile providers have their own network?

There are two kinds of mobile providers: those with their own network and those who offer their services on existing networks - the so called virtual providers.

The providers with their own network are:

  • KPN
  • Odido
  • Vodafone

In this overview you can see which smaller providers are active on the networks mentioned above:

KPN network

Odido network Vodafone network

Simyo

Ben hollandsnieuwe

Youfone

Simpel  

Lebara

   

Budget Mobiel

   

Is a virtual provider just as good?

Concerning the availability of the network: yes. The coverage is the same, so if you're happy with the coverage Vodafone offers, you could also choose hollandsnieuwe. 

It is possible however that smaller providers have other rules for you as user. 

For example: you can receive a maximum speed of 600 Mb/s with KPN. But that doesn't mean that with a smaller provider using the KPN network, you would also receive 600 Mb/s. Were you to choose Budget Mobiel for instance, you'd only receive a fraction of this speed. 

So pay attention when choosing a new mobile operator. You can find all the offered speeds on our comparison page (after choosing either a mobile phone or SIM only).

Which mobile network is the best?

All good and well, but which provider truly is the best?

To know this, there are several tests being done every year by independent bureaus. For example by OpenSignal, umlaut and Ookla.

In February 2024, KPN's network ranked as best not only in The Netherlands, but in the entire world!

KPN wins our Mobile Network Test in the Netherlands with the highest score achieved so far in our international mobile network benchmarks.

OpenSignal concluded in March 2023 that KPN is the best provider:

Opensignal, 2023

Which provider passed the most tests recently?

It's difficult to say which provider is the best. Every research agency has different sets of conditions. One looks at the network performance whilst being on the road, while the other focuses on gaming experience. 

Still, in all of the researches you can find a pattern. Odido and KPN both score very well and often alternate as the winner. Ookla recently pronounced KPN the best provider of the first two quarters of 2023. KPN won as the provider with the best speed and highest availability of the network. That means that there are few places in The Netherlands where you cannot connect to the KPN network. 

Also, KPN has the fastest 5G connection at the moment, with an average speed of 142 Mbps (Odido 123 Mbps and Vodafone 84 Mbps). 

ookla snelste 5g netwerk 2023

ookla, 2023

Which provider has the fastest mobile network?

Traditionally, the mobile operators in the Netherlands compete on the highest performance level

According to Ookla as well as umlaut, KPN has the fastest mobile network at this moment. They tested this in rural areas as well as in more densely populated cities like Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.

"In the data drivetests conducted in big Dutch cities, KPN takes the lead. Odido and Vodafone follow at close distance which one percentage point between each of them." (umlaut)

umlaut, 2024

OpenSignal seperates download- and upload speed. Regarding the download speed, KPN wins and with upload speed, Odido has a slight head start:

"Odido has forced a statistical tie with the previous winner, KPN, and as a result both operators are joint winners of the Download Speed Experience award with scores of 84.5-86 Mbps, while Vodafone is in third place with 60.7 Mbps." (...)

If you were to look only at 5G, which is the newest generation of mobile network speed, Odido easily wins with an average speed of 19.9 Mbps against 17.8 Mbps (KPN) and 13.9 Mbps (Vodafone):

"The two front-runners win with statistically tied scores of 16.2-16.7 Mbps, while Vodafone is in last place with 13.3 Mbps." (OpenSignal)

uploadsnelheid opensignal 2023

Opensignal 2023

To conclude...

The results are very close, especially between KPN and Odido, but overall KPN wins.

Which provider offers the best quality for having a phone conversation?

Only research bureau umlaut has tested the calling ability of mobile operators. The result: every provider offers a great call reliability. First are KPN and Odido, followed closely by Vodafone: 

umlaut, 2024

 

To summarize: every mobile operator offers a good - even great - calling quality. You can expect to have reliable service everywhere, even when you're on the road. Do you want to be a 100% sure? Then you can of course choose KPN or Odido. 

Check the availability beforehand using a coverage map. 

How can I see the coverage on my address?

Every provider has a coverage map on their website. When you fill in your postcode, you can find the coverage of the network on your address. 

Coverage map KPN

Coverage map Odido

Coverage map Vodafone

 
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