On 1 July 2021, Switzerland’s revised telecommunications law came into effect. The new rules force mobile providers to make certain changes to deals they offer customers when roaming. Some of the resulting changes are positive, but not all. In addition, some operators have retained bundles that don’t comply with the new rules.
The new rules force mobile operators to change for roaming calls in increments of a second instead of increments of a minute, to extend the validity of roaming bundles to 12 months and to make it easier to limit costs to a set amount.
The effects of the changes vary significantly from one operator to another. For example, roaming on Swisscom’s low cost brand Wingo is more expensive than it was, while data bundles under the Swisscom brand are generally cheaper.
Those wishing to avoid surprises when they return from abroad would benefit from checking the effects of the changes before crossing the border.
Wingo, Swisscom’s low cost operator, switches to bundles with 12 month validity, but increases the price of calls.
Sunrise and its sub brands Yallo and Lebara have shifted to 12 month validity on most roaming bundles but still offer some that expire after 30 days. In addition, Sunrise has stayed with time-based roaming subscription options that need to be switched on and off before and after travelling.
Like Sunrise, Salt continues to offer some 30-day bundles. Sunrise and Wingo have raised standard roaming call prices. Salt’s and Swisscom’s stay the same.
The biggest change for Swisscom customers is a cut in the price of standard roaming data.
Despite the legal changes, roaming remains a minefield for Swiss mobile phone users. Travellers still have to be wary of roaming surprises. The pre-holiday ritual of scrutinising terms and conditions and choosing suitable roaming options and bundles before travelling looks set to remain in Switzerland.
Moneyland article (in English)