If you are going to Switzerland on holiday or for a longer period of time, you may want to get your own SIM card. Sometimes, however, the German card is also sufficient. We show you what to look out for and where you can find good offers.
Staying in Switzerland: Do I need a SIM card of my own?
Within the EU, roaming charges were abolished in June 2017. This means that you can use your German tariff almost without restriction even on holiday. However, unlike other EFTA states such as Norway and Iceland, Switzerland did not participate in the roaming regulation.
- If your mobile phone contract does not include a separate roaming option for Switzerland, you will have to dig deep into your pocket. Phone calls can cost as much as 1.50 euros/minute. Data usage without a separate tariff usually costs more than 0.20 euros/MB.
- However, this does not apply to all German mobile phone contracts. If you have a contract in the Telekom network, you can usually use it in Switzerland at no extra charge. Customers on the Vodafone and O2 networks, on the other hand, pay extra.
- You should ask your provider in advance how exactly the use of your mobile phone contract in Switzerland works or read it in the contract documents.
Matching mobile phone contract for Switzerland
If you are in Switzerland for a longer period of time – for example, for a semester abroad or an internship – you will hardly be able to avoid having your own SIM card.
- There are three network operators in Switzerland: Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom. In terms of network coverage with 3G, all three networks are above 99 per cent, and in terms of coverage with LTE, they are above 97 per cent.
- It is best to use an online comparison portal to find the right tariff for you. The site handy-abovergleich.ch.offers a good overview.
- In the left-hand column, enter your monthly usage volume. It is also important to know whether you want to use the Swiss card outside Switzerland or make calls from Switzerland to other countries. High costs will be incurred here if you have not booked a suitable tariff.
- Pure prepaid data tariffs with 10 GB volume start at around CHF 10. If you are looking for a more extensive tariff with a phone flat rate, SMS flat rate and 5 GB data volume, you will usually pay over CHF 30.