Yesterday, the price comparison website Verivox published a study comparing mobile phone costs across 13 european countries. On most measures Switzerland was the most expensive, and by a wide margin.
A plan including 100 minutes of talk and 1 Go (gigaoctet1) of data per month costs an average of CHF 25 per month in Switzerland. The same thing was significantly cheaper in Spain (CHF 20.70), Denmark (CHF 19.30), France (CHF 16.50) and Poland (CHF 6.50).
Switzerland was also expensive for unlimited calls, SMS and data, with an average monthly price of CHF 59. The same thing in Poland was CHF 14.70. However Switzerland was far from the most expensive. An average unlimited package in Germany costs a monthly CHF 220, a multiple of Switzerland.
But as Anouch Seydtaghia at the newspaper Le Temps points out, Verivox’s price comparisons ignore low-cost virtual operators, which offer plans running on others’ networks. For example M-Budget Mobile, running on Swisscom’s network offers a monthly plan including 60 minutes of talk and 600 Mo (megaoctet1) of data for CHF 19 per month. Aldi offers a similar plan with 75 minutes of talk and 750 Mo for CHF 15.90 per month. Aldi’s plans run on the Sunrise network.
1 One octet consists of 8 bits. A bit is a single binary on or off, the lowest unit used to express everything digital. For example using ASCII, a code used to express printable characters, the letter “a” is expressed as the binary number 1100001 (a series of “ons” and “offs”). Sending it would use up 7 bits of your data plan. 1 Go is equivalent to around 140 million ASCII characters.