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Switzerland

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BasicsEdit

Switzerland has three network operators:

  • Swisscom
  • Salt (formerly Orange)
  • Sunrise

2G/3G CoverageEdit

State-owned Swisscom is best in coverage and speed but competitors like Sunrise and Salt are catching up quickly. Swisscom covers 99.8% of the area in 2G and 93% in 3G, a remarkable margin given the topography of the country. Salt and Sunrise are only slightly worse concerning data flow. On Sunrise you have to notice that most of its 3G capacities are on the 900 MHz frequency which is rather unusual in Europe, as most providers use the 2100 Mhz band like Swisscom and Salt. Nevertheless, the quality of all the 3 providers is generally high compared to European standards.

4G coverage and availabilityEdit

LTE started 2012 on Swisscom and 2013 on Orange (now called Salt) and Sunrise. In 2014 Swisscom and Orange covered already about 91% of the population while LTE coverage of Sunrise is much lower. Swisscom and Salt have LTE speed up to 150 mbit/s while Sunrise offers 100 Mbit/s. LTE is on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz.

4G/LTE is given out on most operators and MVNOs without a surcharge.

RegulationsEdit

Before you can use a prepaid service you will need to identify yourself (bring your passport or national photo ID) and fill in forms at the point of sale for registration. The activation of the starter pack can take some hours-

The offers below are sorted according to the networks beginning with the network operator first.


SWISSCOM network
Edit

Swisscom Edit

Swisscom

Swisscom is still the best network in coverage and speed in the country, giving out 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE on prepaid.

Their prepaid lines are called Natel Easy and come in 2 different lines.

Natel Easy Smart Edit

This is a SIM for calls, texts and data. Unlimited (see FUP) data for CHF 2 per day. A day is the 24 hour period from midnight to 23:59 the same day. Starter pack costs CHF 19.90 and has CHF 20 credit (plus 100 MB for first use). You can buy aditional credits from CHF 10 to top op your balance. The days you do not use the phone for data (or for voice or SMS), there is no charge. Network speeds are capped at download: 1.5 Mbit/s, upload 0.5 Mbit/s, unless you buy a data package (limited speed works already great for Skype video calls for example).

The data packages are as follows:

Data Volume

Period

Price

max. speed

5 GB 24 hours CHF 5 21 Mbit/s
200 MB 30 days CHF 9 7.2 Mbit/s
600 MB 30 days CHF 19 7.2 Mbit/s
1.2 GB 30 days CHF 29 7.2 Mbit/s

Book packages on your account. Check data balance by texting "STATUS" to 444 free of charge.

Natel Data Easy Edit

This SIM is for data and text only. Starter pack costs CHF 19.90 and has CHF 20 credit. Unlimited  (see FUP) data for CHF 7.50 per calendar day (0.00-23.59h) at download speeds up to 7.2 Mbit/s, upload up to 2 Mbit/s. 

Fair use policy Edit

Thier FUP will reduce speed to 64 kbps after 2 GB consumed within a month. This official policy is enforced strictly. After this you have to wait for a new month or pay 5 CHF per day for fast Internet on a package.

Availability Edit

Online or offline at Swisscom sales outlet (shop locator).  Top ups are available at all major petrol stations or using a credit card online at : http://www.swisscom.ch/res/mobile/tarife/aufladen/index.htm

Sim sizes Edit

Mini-SIM, Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM available. SIMs can be exchanged in the shop free of charge, for example to Nano-SIM.

More info Edit

  • Tethering: Yes.
  • Useable with no extra roaming costs in Liechtenstein
  • APN: gprs.swisscom.ch
  • Username and Password: internet

Lycamobile Edit

Lyca

Lycamobile is the biggest competitor of Lebara mobile on the ethno market. As a MVNO it changed in 2011 from Orange to the excellent Swisscom network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.

Start up costs and availability Edit

The starter pack is sold in a lot of stores in the country for free. The don't have a store locator, so look for their label. Reloads can be made in their stores or online using an international credit card online.

Data feature packages Edit

Data outside these packages or overuse is billed CHF 0.10 per MB. These monthly packages are offered:

Data Volume

Price

Activation

120 MB CHF 1.25 *139*90490#
500 MB CHF 3.25 *139*95490#
1 GB CHF 5.90 *139*91490#
2 GB CHF 11.90 *139*92490#
3 GB CHF 19.90 *139*94490#
5 GB CHF 24.90 *139*93490#
10 GB CHF 45 *139*96490#

You can only buy each package once in a 30 day period.There is no warning when your package runs out. To check data amounts, dial *136#  Data pack renews automatically after one month and must be cancelled by calling 077900122.

More infos Edit

  • Roaming bundles to be used in certain countries are offered. For more info see Euro5.
  • Tethering is actively blocked
  • APN: data.lycamobile.ch
  • Username: lmch (that's lowercase L, not capital i)
  • Password: plus

M-Budget Edit

M Budget

M-Budget is the MVNO of one of the biggest retailers in Switzerland called Migros. It operates on the network of Swisscom in 2G and 3G only, but not 4G/LTE.

Availability and startup cost Edit

SIM Card: 19.80 CHF, includes 15 CHF balance and 100 MB of data. Available in Migros supermarkets and M-Electronics stores. Store Locator. Be sure to be on the new tariff line called M-Budget Mobile Plus. To change, send free text containg "MBUDGET PLUS" to 444.

Data feature packages Edit

Data outside the package or overuse is billed CHF 0.28 per MB. Billing interval per 100 KB.

  • 150 MB, 30 days, CHF 4.80, activation by sms START DATAPACK to 444.

To check data amounts, send STATUS by SMS to 444. You will be warned by SMS when you have used 80 % of the data.

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN: gprs.swisscom.ch


SALT network

In 2014 France Telecom sold Orange CH to a French businessman. The brand Orange is going to be rebranded in Salt during summer 2015.

Salt (formerly known as Orange)Edit

Salt

The rebrand and reposition of Orange to Salt will happen during 2015 and some names and offers may change. All rates are on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE where available.

AvailabilityEdit

In a Salt Store (formerly Orange Center) (store locator) you will get a Prepay SIM Pack. They come in different lines:

  • PrePay Suisse: voice and data: for 10 CHF, including CHF 20 of initial credit, default rate CHF 1 for max. 20 MB per day.
  • PrePay World: voice and data: start up and internet costs are the same as above, but this tariff line may serve you better than "PrePay Suisse" if you plan to phone home as well. Calling into the so-called "focus-countries" (includes Europe, USA, Australia, ...) is way cheaper.
  • PrePay Surf: data-only: Starter for 10 CHF, you get 5 days internet for free included. default rate is a daily rate of 500 MB max. for CHF 5.

Top-ups are widely available at kiosks (Naville, Relay), supermarkets (Coop, migros), SBB- ticket machines, post offices and most petrol stations.

Data feature packagesEdit

  • Mobile Internet Plus:  5 CHF / month, includes 200 MB, activation: START PLUS, deactivation: STOP PLUS
  • Mobile Internet Max:  15 CHF / month, includes 1 GB, activation: START MAX, deactivation: STOP MAX.

For activation and deactivation text code to 5155. Packages will auto-renew if not stopped.

SIM sizesEdit

Mini SIM, Micro SIM and Nano SIM available.

More infoEdit

  • prepaid tethering is unblocked (verified April 2015)
  • useable with no extra roaming costs in Liechtenstein
  • APN: click (valid only for PrePay)

CoopMobile Edit

Coop

CoopMobile of the retail group COOP is a MVNO on the Salt network. 4G/LTE is open without surcharge.

Availability Edit

CoopMobile starter sets are sold in all Coop supermarkets with kiosks, at the customer services desks in the Coop City departments stores und Coop Bau+Hobby hardware stores, at Fust and Interdiscount electronic stores and online with free delivery to any Swiss postal address.

  • starter pack is sold for CHF 15 with CHF 5 credit.

Top-ups are widely available at the stores mentioned above or Swiss Rail (SBB)- ticket machines.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is the day rate: CHF 0.20 per MB up to maximum of 33 MB for CHF 2 per day. A day is 0-24h local time. After activation of the starter pack, the "surf for free" option is enabled automatically.

  • 500 MB for the first month only without any charge.

These two monthly packs are offered for the following months or as upsize:

  • 500 MB: CHF 9.90, activation: text "START AUTO500" to 5155
  • 1.5 GB: CHF 24.90, activation: text "START AUTO1500" to 5155

Packages auto-renew, if you have enough credit. To stop, text "STOP AUTO####" to 5155.

SIM sizes Edit

Mni and micro size is available in stores, nano cards are only avalable online

More info Edit

  • Balance check: *121#
  • APN: Click

SUNRISE network Edit

For 3G your device should be capable of the 900 Mhz frequency, as Sunrise uses it a lot. Liechtenstein is treated as a foreign country by Sunrise.

SunriseEdit

All rates are on 2G, 3G and 4G too where available (see above).

Sunrise-Logo-Artwork

Sunrise freeEdit

19.90 CHF for SIM card called Sunrise free.  Available online at www.sunrise.ch to be sent to Swiss address or offline at their shops (store locator). It comes with an unlimited surf option for 1 CHF per day (but speed is limited to 256 Kbps). Days you don't use your phone for data, voice or sms, there's no charge. To check your balance, dial *121# <call>.

Data feature packages

Data Package Volume Price Activation Deactivation
Surf 250 MB CHF 7.50 SURF SURF STOP
Surf XL 1 GB CHF 15 SURF XL SURFXL STOP
Surf 3XL 3 GB CHF 30 SURF3XL SURF3XL STOP
Surf 5XL 5 GB CHF 45 SURF5XL SURF5XL STOP
Surf 10XL 10 GB CHF 80 SURF10XL SURF10CL STOP

To subscribe and unsubscribe text code to 5522. Data option is renewed automatically when data volume is used up or after one month (which ever occurs first) To find out how much data of the surf option remains, dial *136# on your phone and press <call>.

More infoEdit

  • to change language, dial *141# on your phone and press <call>.
  • SIM sizes: mini-SIM (2FF), micro-SIM (3FF) and nano-SIM (4FF) available.
  • Tethering: Yes
  • APN: internet

ok.-mobile Edit

Ok ch

ok.- is spoken OK, Punkt, Strich (OK, dot, dash). It's a MVNO and changed 2014 from Orange to the Sunrise network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.

Startup Cost Edit

SIM cards are sold for CHF 10, with same balance in avec coinvenience shops, k kiosks and Presse&Books shops, often located in train stations (list), Activation is done within 24 hours. Reload cards of CHF 10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 are available there too.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate outside of packages is CHF 0.15 per 1 MB.

  • CHF 8.50 per month for 500 MB, activation: text "Bundle Data500" to 3131
  • CHF 14 per month for 1 GB, activation: text "Bundle Data1000" to 3131

To check data balance text "Balance" to 3131.

SIM Sizes Edit

A hybrid SIM card in mini, micro and nano size is given out.

More info Edit

  • APN: internet
  • Tethering is allowed
  • Website in German, French and Italian: ok-mobile.ch
  • Facebook "fan page" mostly in German

Aldi mobileEdit

Aldi suisse
Aldi mobile is the MVNO of the supermarket chain on Sunrise network in 2G, 3G and 4G where available. All calls amongst Aldi mobile numbers in Switzerland are free.

Availability and startup costEdit

Starter package costs CHF 19.99 and includes prepaid credit of CHF 20. The starter packs are available only in Aldi Suisse supermarkets (shop locator). It's not on display, but you have to ask at the checkout. The initial activation can take up to 72 hours.

Data feature packsEdit

  • Basis: CHF 9.90 for 500 MB/month. Activation: Send a free SMS saying START SURF 500 to the number 4466.
  • Medium: CHF 14.90 for 1 GB/month. Activation: Send a free SMS saying START SURF 1000 to the number 4466.
  • Vielsurfen: CHF 28.90 for 3 GB/month. Activation: Send a free SMS saying START SURF 3000 to the number 4466.
  • Smart 50: CHF 15.90 for 500 MB/month + 50 domestic SMS + 50 domestic minutes to mobile lines + 50 domestic minutes to landlines. For activation: send a free SMS saying SMART50 to the number 4466.
  • Smart 100: CHF 27.90 for 1 GB/month + 100 domestic SMS + 100 domestic minutes to mobile lines + 100 domestic minutes to landlines. For activation: send a free SMS saying SMART100 to the number 4466. The data flatrate will be activated.

All options are valid for one month and will not be automatically prolonged. You will receive a notification SMS after 30 days. If you want to continue to use the option you will have to send again a free text with the activation code to the number 4466 so that the option will be activated for another month.

You will receive a notification as soon as (one of) the limit(s) is/are reached or when the 30 day-period is going to be finished. Alternatively you can call *147*# to find out your credit. When exeeding the limit(s) before the end of the 30 day-period you can buy again an option for another 30 days. If you exceed the included amount of data (or voice or text) there will be the usual default rates as CHF 0.19 for every MB data deducted from your prepaid credit but you will be warned in advance.

ReloadsEdit

  • Refill cards available in all ALDI-SUISSE stores (CHF 20, 30, 50)
  • Online by Aldi account manager ([1])
  • SBB (Swiss Railways) ticket dispensers

More infoEdit

  • SIM sizes: mini-SIM (2FF), micro-SIM and nano-SIM
  • APN: internet

TalkTalk Edit

TalkTalk

TalkTalk is another MVNO on the Sunrise network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE where available

Availability and startup cost Edit

Their prepaid product is called GO. Starter package costs CHF 19.95 and includes a prepaid credit of CHF 20. It is available online or offline exclusively in Mobilezone stores: store locator

Data feature packsEdit

Default data outside of packages is CHF 2 per 10 MB. These packages are available:

Data Volume Price Activation code
500 MB CHF 10 START 500MB
1 GB CHF 15 START 1GB
2 GB CHF 25 START 2GB
3 GB CHF 35 START 3GB
5 GB CHF 50 START 5GB
10 GB CHF 85 START 10GB

To activate, text code to 361. All packages are valid for 30 days. Volume can be upsized anytime by buying a new package.

ReloadsEdit

Refill cards are available in Mobilezone stores or tobacco/press kiosks (topups list) and can be activated via dialing a special number or online.

More infoEdit

  • For balance check text "BALANCE" to 361
  • APN: internet

Ortel mobileEdit

Ortel mobile

Ortel is a MVNO on the Sunrise network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE where available.

Availability and startup costEdit

Starter package costs CHF 9.95 and includes a prepaid credit of CHF 21. It is available in multi-network stores.

Data feature packsEdit

  • Surf and Save: CHF 13.90 for 1 GB/month. Activation: text 'Data 1' to 233.

When the limit is exceeded each additional data usage is charged at CHF 0.20 per MB. The package is not prolonged automatically.

ReloadsEdit

Refill cards are available in stores and can be activated via dialing a special number or online.

More infoEdit

  • SIM sizes: micro-SIM
  • The voice tariff is tailored around making cheap calls to foreign destinations. For example calling a Swiss landline is 6 times more expensive than calling one in Brazil.
  • APN: internet

YalloEdit

Yallo

Yallo is a subsidiary of Sunrise and operates on their network on 2G, 3G and 4G where available.

Availability and startup costEdit

Starter package costs CHF 20. and includes prepaid credit of CHF 20. They are sold in every Sunrise store (see above) or at Swiss Post shops

Data feature packsEdit

Data Volume Price Activation Code
150 MB CHF 5 SURF 150
500 MB CHF 10 SURF 500
1 GB CHF 15 SURF 1000
2 GB CHF 25 SURF 2000
5 GB CHF 45 SURF 5000
10 GB CHF 80 SURF10GB

For activation text code to 5511, for deactivation text code followed by the word "STOP" to 5511. Packages will be renewed automatically after one month or when the data limit is reached if there is enough credit. Standard rate outside packages is 3 CHF per 10 MB. To check data status type *142#

More infoEdit

  • SIM Sizes: Available in both micro SIM and standard size
  • APN: internet

Lebara mobileEdit

Lebara
Default prefix: 076. Lebara Suisse was acquired by Sunrise in 2013. It uses its network in 2G, 3G and 4G where available.

Availability and startup costEdit

SIM-Card is free either online to be sent to a Swiss address or offline at their vending partners like Swiss Post offices, Migros and Coop supermarkets, k and relay kiosks, Media Markt and lot of small stores. You have to do a top up right away.

Data feature packsEdit

Data Volume Price Activation code
120 MB CHF 4.90 SURF
1 GB CHF 14.90 DATA1
3 GB CHF 29.90 SURF3
5 GB CHF 44.90 SURF5
10 GB CHF 79.90 SURF10

For activation text code to 255, packet renews automatically after one month, for deactivation: text STOP to 255, overuse is charged by CHF 0.10 per MB or you can activate another bundle ahead of time.

More Info Edit

  • APN: internet

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