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Switzerland

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Ch

BasicsEdit

Switzerland has three network operators:

  • Swisscom
  • Sunrise
  • Salt Mobile (formerly Orange)

CoverageEdit

Sunrise and Swisscom both offer a very good mobile network coverage and performance. While Swisscom is generally more expensive, Sunrise often offers lower rates and Salt Mobile retains a good level at 3rd position.

  • Swisscom: 99.8% of the area in 2G, 96% in 3G and up to 98% in 4G/LTE
  • Sunrise: 99% of 2G, 99% of 3G and up to 98% in 4G/LTE
  • Salt: 99% of 2G, >90% of 3G and 94% in 4G/LTE

On Sunrise you should know, that most of its 3G antennas are based on the 900 MHz frequency. This is rather unusual in Europe as most providers in Europe use the 2100 MHz band like Swisscom and Salt, but 900 MHz is still supported by most mobile phones.

On 4G/LTE Swisscom and Salt offer LTE speeds up to 150 Mbit/s, while Sunrise offers up to 100 Mbit/s. LTE is on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz frequency band. On Swisscom the 2100 MHz band is used additionaly for LTE. 4G/LTE is given out from all operators and most of their MVNOs on prepaid:

RegulationsEdit

Before you can use Swiss prepaid services you will need to show some identification. So 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 to be processed.

EU roaming Edit

Be aware that Switzerland is neither a part of the EU, nor the EEA. So roaming rates abroad in Europe are not capped or regulated. European providers treat Switzerland very differently: some charge the same as within the EU zone, but many add a substantial surcharge for consumptions on Swiss roaming. Better check your EU provider first before use.

For the same reason roaming rates on Swiss SIM cards in neighbouring EU countries are still very high typically at around CHF 50 per GB. That's why you should buy a seperate SIM card for EU countries instead. Both Swisscom and Salt offer roaming at domestic Swiss rates in the country of Liechtenstein.

The offers below are sorted according to the networks, each beginning with the network operator first, followed by their resellers/MVNOs.


SWISSCOM network
Edit

Swisscom is still the biggest provider in the country giving out 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE in up to 150 Mbit/s on prepaid. As incumbent provider with the largest market share, they have the highest prices currently in the Swiss mobile market.

Swisscom Edit

Swisscom

Their own prepaid SIM cards are called Natel Easy.

Availability Edit

Natel Easy (smart) is a SIM for calls, texts and data. Starter pack costs CHF 19.90 and has CHF 20 credit (plus 100 MB for first use) online or offline at Swisscom sales outlet (shop locator).  Mini-SIM, Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM are all available. SIMs can be exchanged in the shop free of charge, for example to Nano-SIM.

Top-ups are available at all major service stations, SBB ticket machines, Coop and Migros supermarkets, kiosks or using a credit card online.where you can buy additional credits from CHF 10. Check your balance by *130#.

Default data rate Edit

They offer "unlimited" (see FUP) data for CHF 2 per day. A day is the 24-hour period from midnight to 23:59 on the same calendar day. On days when you don't use the phone for data (or for voice or SMS), there is no charge.

Network speeds are capped at 2 Mbit/s, unless you buy a data package (limited speed works already great for Skype video calls for example).

Data feature packages Edit

Their data packages are as follows:

Data

Validity

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

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

Fair use policy (FUP) Edit

Their FUP will reduce speed to 128 kbit/s 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.

More info Edit

  • Their data-only prepaid tariff Natel Data Easy has been discontinued and is no longer available.
  • Tethering: allowed
  • Useable with no extra roaming costs in Liechtenstein
  • APN: gprs.swisscom.ch
  • Username and Password: internet
  • Website in English: http://www.swisscom.ch/en

Lycamobile Edit

Lyca

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

Availability Edit

The starter pack is sold in a lot of stores in the country for free. Make sure your date of birth is written correctly in the application form: you'll need it to register online. Reloads can be made in their stores or using an international credit card online.

Useful codes Edit

  • Check your account balance: *131#
  • Check your package balance: *136#
  • Change language: +4177 900 01 31 (for CHF 0.19 per call)
  • Show your number:*132#

Data feature packages Edit

Data outside these packages or overuse is billed at 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 9.90 *139*92490#
5 GB CHF 13.90 *139*94490#
10 GB CHF 21.90 *139*93490#
20 GB CHF 45 *139*96490#

Data packs renew automatically after one month and must be cancelled by using *190#. 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#. For more data, you can add-ons, valid for the rest of the running time of the base package:

  • 500 MB: CHF 3.25, activation: *139*601#
  • 1 GB: CHF 5.90, activation: *139*602#
  • 3 GB: CHF 12.90, activation: *139*603#
  • 5 GB: CHF 19.90, activation: *139*604#

More infos Edit

  • Tethering is possible (at least on Android phones)
  • APN: data.lycamobile.ch
  • Username: lmch (that's lowercase L, not capital i)
  • Password: plus
  • Website in English: http://www.lycamobile.ch/en

Mucho mobile Edit

Mucho

Mucho mobile is another MVNO aimed at visitors and foreign workers offering discounted IDD calls. It operates on the network of Swisscom in 2G and 3G only with speeds up to 7.2 Mbits, but not 4G/LTE so far for prepaid.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold for CHF 10 including CHF 5 balance. They are available at post offices, k-kiosks, Naville and Relay outlets. Press&Books is still mentioned on website as sales point, but they don't offer SIMs anymore. K-kiosks take 24-48 hours to activate the SIM, while post offices activate immediately. Both post and k-kiosks have only combined micro/standard SIMs, so if you need nano be prepared to cut. Nano SIMs are only available online for 15 CHF.

Refills are available from various kiosks. It's also available from SBB (train) ticket vending machines. You have to press "Further services" -> "Prepaid refill" -> "further options" -> "Mucho" to get a refill code. Also available in online account management. Default password is your PUK (written on SIM card holder).

Data feature packages Edit

Data outside the package or overuse is charged at CHF 0.08 per MB. To activate this default rate send "Start data" to 444. Beware it also gets activated in case of expired or used up packages. The only package option is:

  • 1024 MB for 30 days: CHF 9.90. Activation by SMS 'START DATAPACK' (with auto-renew) or 'START ONE DATAPACK' (without auto-renew) to 444.

To check credit and data amounts, text 'STATUS' to 444. To stop auto-renewal text 'STOP DATAPACK' to 444.

More info Edit

M-Budget Edit

M Budget

M-Budget is the MVNO of one of the major retail chains in the country called Migros. It operates on the network of Swisscom on 2G and 3G only, but not 4G/LTE for prepaid. Their offer is quite outdated now.

Availability Edit

The SIM Card is sold at CHF 19.80, including CHF 15 balance and 100 MB of data. It comes in triple format. Available only 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 charged at CHF 0.28 per MB. Billing interval per 100 KB. 10 MB per month are included for free.

  • 150 MB for 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. Package will not auto-renew.

More info Edit


SUNRISE network Edit

Sunrise has moved to 2nd position in Switzerland with a very good preformance even topping Swisscom in network tests in 2016. It gives an excellent standard with high speeds and wide coverage at the lowest prices currently on the market. For 3G your device should be capable of the 900 Mhz frequency, as Sunrise uses it a lot. Be aware that unlike the other operators the country of Liechtenstein is treated as a foreign country by Sunrise as it doesn't have own coverage there.

SunriseEdit

Sunrise-Logo-Artwork

AvailabilityEdit

Their prepaid SIM card called Sunrise prepaid airbag is sold for 19.90 CHF. Available at www.sunrise.ch to be sent to a Swiss address or offline at their shops (store locator). All rates are on 2G, 3G and 4G too where available (see above). Mini-SIM (2FF), micro-SIM (3FF) and nano-SIM (4FF) available.

You can top-up by credit card online, in any Swiss post office, at ticket machines of Swiss Railways, in Sunrise stores and many supermarkets, service stations and kiosks. To check your balance, dial *121#.

Default rate Edit

Default rate is their unlimited surf option at CHF 1 per day for 20 MB then speed is throttled to 256 Kbit/s. On days you don't use your phone for data, there's no charge.

Data feature packages Edit

These data packages valid for 30 days are offered:

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. Bundle is renewed automatically when data volume is used up or after one month (whatever occurs first). To find out how much data of the surf option remains, dial *136# on your phone. All packages are on 4G/LTE too and unlike the default rate up to 100 Mbit/s.

More infoEdit

  • to change language, dial *141# on your phone
  • Tethering: allowed
  • APN: internet
  • Website in English: http://www.sunrise.ch/en

ok.-mobile Edit

Ok ch

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

Availability Edit

SIM cards are sold for CHF 10, with same balance in avec convenience shops, k kiosks and Presse&Books shops, often located in train stations (list). A hybrid SIM card in mini, micro and nano size is given out. 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 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.

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 Aldi Suisse supermarket discounter chain on Sunrise network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. It boasts a great on-net rate: all calls amongst Aldi mobile numbers in Switzerland are offered for free.

AvailabilityEdit

Their starter package costs CHF 19.99 including a prepaid credit of CHF 20. Starter packs are available only in Aldi Suisse supermarkets (shop locator). They are not on display, but you have to ask at the checkout. Mini-SIM (2FF), micro-SIM and nano-SIM are sold. The initial activation can take up to 72 hours.

Top-ups can be found in all ALDI-SUISSE stores (at CHF 20, 30, 50), online through the Aldi account manager ([1]) or at SBB (Swiss Railways) ticket dispensers. Check your balance by *147*#.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is CHF 0.19 per MB. These monthly packages are offered:

  • Surf 500: CHF 9.90 for 500 MB. Activation: text START SURF 500 to 4466.
  • Surf 1000: CHF 14.90 for 1 GB. Activation: text START SURF 1000 to 4466.
  • Surf 3000: CHF 28.90 for 3 GB. Activation: text START SURF 3000 to 4466.
  • Smart 50: CHF 15.90 for 500 MB + 50 domestic SMS + 50 domestic minutes to mobile lines + 50 domestic minutes to landlines. Activation: text SMART50 to 4466.
  • Smart FLAT: CHF 28.90 for 1 GB + unlimited domestic SMS + unlimited domestic minutes. Activation: text SMART FLAT to 4466.

All SMS to 4466 are free of charge. All options are valid for one month only 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 exceeding 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.

More infoEdit

TalkTalk Edit

TalkTalk

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

Availability Edit

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

Refill cards are available in Mobilezone stores or tobacco/press kiosks (topups list) and can be activated via dialing a special number or online. For balance check text "BALANCE" to 361.

Data feature packsEdit

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

Data Volume Price Activation
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.

More infoEdit

Ortel mobileEdit

Ortel mobile

Ortel mobile is a MVNO on the Sunrise network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. Don't mix it up with German product with the same logo and name. 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.

Availability Edit

Their starter package costs CHF 9.95 and includes a prepaid credit of CHF 21. It's available in multi-network stores.

Refill cards are sold in stores and can be activated via dialing a special number or online. They give 10% bonus for every top-up. Check balance by *126#.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is CHF 0.20 per MB. Their only package is:

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

When the limit is exceeded each additional data usage is charged at the default rate. The package is not prolonged automatically.

More infoEdit

YalloEdit

Yallo

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

Availability Edit

Their starter package costs CHF 20 and includes prepaid credit of CHF 20. It's sold in every Sunrise store (see above) or at Swiss postal offices available in both micro SIM and standard size, nano SIMs are sold seperately.

Data feature packsEdit

Standard rate outside packages is CHF 3 per 10 MB. These monthly packages are sold:

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. To check data status type *142#

More infoEdit

Lebara mobileEdit

Lebara
Lebara mobile Suisse was acquired by Sunrise in 2013. It uses their network in 2G, 3G and 4G.

Availability Edit

Their 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, MediaMarkt and lot of small stores. You have to do a top up right away.

They offer high data bonuses for top-ups, especially when made online or by app

  • CHF 10 top-up: + 50 MB, + 75 MB online/app
  • CHF 20 top-up: + 150 MB, + 225 MB online/app
  • CHF 30 top-up: + 300 MB, + 450 MB online/app
  • CHF 50 top-up: + 1 GB, + 1.5 GB online/app
  • CHF 100 top-up: + 3 GB, + 4.5 GB online/app

Note, that bonus data is only valid for one month.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 0.25 CHF per MB.

Data Price Activation
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 30 days, for deactivation: text STOP to 255. You can activate another bundle ahead of time. All overuse within the validity period will be charged at CHF 0.10 per MB otherwise.

Roaming packs Edit

For data roaming in the EU/EEA except the Baltics - but including Turkey and the US - Lebara offers these roaming data packages:

  • 100 MB for 10 days: CHF 10, activation: 'DATAR100'
  • 200 MB and 100 mins for 10 days: CHF 29, activation: 'COMBIM'
  • 300 MB for 30 days: CHF 25, activation: 'DATAR300'
  • 500 MB and 300 mins for 30 days: CHF 59, activation: 'COMBIL'
  • 1 GB for 30 days: CHF 49, actiation: 'DATA1GB'

Text code for activation to 255. Packages don't auto-renew. High standard roaming rates apply for overuse and outside the mentioned countries. Voice mins include all calls within the roaming countries and to Switzerland.

More Info Edit


SALT network

In 2014 France Telecom sold Orange CH to a French businessman. The brand Orange was dropped and the network rebranded to Salt during summer 2015. It's now the 3rd network in the country still giving good coverage and high speeds.

Salt Mobile (formerly known as Orange)Edit

Salt

AvailabilityEdit

In a Salt Store (formerly called Orange Center) (store locator) you will get a PrePay SIM Pack. Their new PrePay Suisse voice and data is sold for CHF 10, including CHF 20 of initial credit. Mini SIM, Micro SIM and Nano SIM are available.

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

Default data rate Edit

They offer a daily rate with unlimited data on up to 4G/LTE for 1.99 CHF by default. This rate is not throttled or otherwise limited.

Data feature packagesEdit

Only one data package is offered:

  • Internet Max:  CHF 15 CHF per 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.

More infoEdit

  • tethering is allowed (according to Salt forum)

CoopMobile Edit

Coop

CoopMobile of the retail group Coop is a MVNO on the Salt network. in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.

Availability Edit

CoopMobile "Prix Garantie Prepaid" 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, in Fust and Interdiscount electronic stores (list here). Their starter pack is sold for CHF 19.80 with CHF 15 credit pre-loaded. Mini and micro size is available in stores, nano cards are only avalable online. When buying in a Coop store, your activation may take up to 24 hours.

Top-ups of CHF 10, 30, 50 and 100 are available at the stores mentioned above or at Swiss Rail (SBB) ticket machines. To add by voucher, type *121*<voucher code>#. Balance check: #121# or *121#.

Default rate Edit

The first 10 MB per month are free of charge. Then you will be shown their data options

Data feature packages Edit

These three monthly packs are offered :

  • 500 MB: CHF 4.90
  • 3 GB: CHF 19.90
  • 5 GB: CHF 29.90

These options are only displayed when you are using your Coop mobile SIM for data. If you don't choose a package or have depleted one, data will be shut off.

More info Edit

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