Cost of living: Which Swiss mobile plans are the cheapest?
At a time when prices of goods and services in Switzerland are going up, it's useful to know where to find the best, money-saving deals — including for mobile phone plans.
Telecom plans can be expensive in Switzerland, especially for people who use smartphones and all the associated services to the max.
However, according to online comparison service Moneyland, “the potential for cost savings is enormous".
"More than 100 different mobile telecom subscriptions and prepaid mobile plans are offered in Switzerland, along with countless supplemental options and bundles. This makes navigating the jungle of rates to find the cheapest solutions difficult for consumers," Moneyland said.
The good news is that “there are now many very affordable offers. By migrating to a different plan, phone users can save a lot of money", said Moneyland’s telecom expert, Ralf Beyeler.
His analysis shows where, and how, money can be saved, based on how often you use mobile services.
Let’s start with the “light use”, defined by Moneyland as “five two-minute local phone calls within Switzerland, and 500 megabytes of data use in Switzerland per month".
Admittedly, that is not much for most people, who seem to rely on their mobile phones for pretty much everything, but if you fit into this particular category, you can save a bundle.
Your best bet: Mucho.
"Without accounting for special promotions, Mucho has the cheapest pre-paid mobile offer, with total costs of 53.80 francs over the first year", according to Moneyland.
Next are pre-paid offers from retailers Lidl (73.80 francs) and Coop (87 francs).
The price comparison service points out that for “light” users, pre-paid mobile plans are much cheaper than regular ones.
The cheapest (not pre-paid) mobile plan that Moneyland found is offered by Talktalk and costs 117.50 francs over the first year, which is more than twice the cost of the cheapest pre-paid offer.
This gives you an idea of how much cheaper pre-paid plans are if you don’t use your mobile services a lot.
Also, signing up for promotional offers that Swiss telecom companies launch from time to time “does not pay off for people who make very light use of their phones. The cheapest special promotional offer matching the light user profile costs 124 francs over the first year".
What about "average" users?
These are the people who use 5,000 megabytes of mobile data in Switzerland and 30 three-minute local phone calls within Switzerland per month.
“For most mobile users, 5,000 megabytes of data per month is more than sufficient." Beyeler said, and especially for people who don’t use mobile phones for streaming.
Here too the cheapest option is the prepaid offer from Mucho, which costs 209.80 francs for the first year.
Next are Digital Republic and Yallo, with 240 francs over the first year. As a comparison, the cheapest offer for this category of users at Salt — one of the three biggest telecom providers in the country, along with Swisscom and Sunrise — costs 882.80 francs: more than four times as much as the cheapest offer.
"Whether an average user makes 30 calls per month or just one hardly affects the total cost", Moneyland said, adding that "the most affordable service providers generally cost the same for average users no matter how many or how few phone calls they make".
Lastly, the “heavy" user
This is a person who wants to have unlimited phone calls and data use within Switzerland.
Obviously, these people will have to pay higher fees that their “light” and “medium” counterparts.
The cheapest options for this category of users are pre-paid offers from Digital Republic and an offer from Yallo, both costing 240 francs over the first year.
They are followed, cost-wise, by Teleboy, which costs 349 francs in the first year.
This may sound like a lot (and it is, when compared to the prices light and medium customers pay), but it is still significantly less than Swisscom's and Salt’s fees: 838.80 and 899.35 francs, respectively.
Moneyland points out that its analysis is a general indication of cost trends based on the volume of use.
But “costs can be very different depending on how a person uses their mobile phone," Beyeler said.