The Best Phone Plans in Switzerland in 2019

Posted on

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure.)

What is the best phone plan in Switzerland?

I think we can agree that everybody wants to pay as little as possible for their phone bills. Even though you may think your current phone plans is the cheapest available, there could be new deals since you started using your plan. It is always important to keep up to date with the latest offers.

Very recently, one of my reader, MrBeardedGuy, let me know of a very cheap phone provider, Mucho. I had never heard of this. And it looked very cheap. It had been too long since I had a proper evaluation of my phone bills. So I decided to do a full comparison based on my personal usage. And I figured it could help my readers as well to reduce their phone bills. I am almost sure I am not the only one paying too much for my phone bills.

The Swiss Phone plan market is quite diverse these days. 15 years ago, it was almost only Swisscom and everybody was content with it. Now, there are many other providers using one of the three major networks.

In this post, I am going to compare the phone plans and prepaid cards for 7 standard phone usages. For each of them, I will show the cheapest options available. Keep reading if you want to save money on your phone bill!

Prepaid vs Plan

Phone SIM Cards
You can either have a phone plan or a prepaid card

You have two options to pay for your phone bills:

  1. A proper plan where you pay month after month based on what you used.
  2. A prepaid card where you have to charge your card in advance.

Most people prefer to use a plan because it is much easier. Having a plan means that you will always be able to use your phone. On the contrary, if you use a prepaid card and you forget to charge your card, you may be prevented to use your phone.

Using a prepaid card is a bit more work. But it may be cheaper. Before I did this post, I was opposed to using a prepaid card. But this is too lazy. I know I have the discipline to charge my phone every month. Therefore, I will consider using a prepaid card if it is a cheaper option for me.

Which mobile phone network?

There are different phone networks
There are different phone networks

In Switzerland, there are three large mobile networks:

  1. Swisscom
  2. Salt
  3. Sunrise

They are all operating their own devices and antennas. Each prepaid or plan is operating on some specific network.

In the beginning, the Swisscom network was by far the best network in Switzerland. Today, Sunrise and Swisscom are probably on a draw. However, it is very difficult to find an unbiased comparison of these networks today. Most of the comparisons available are done by each network and as such are obviously biased.

Personally, I am using the Swisscom network. I always had very good coverage and very good internet speed. About ten years ago, I had the Sunrise network for a bit less than two years. I was very dissatisfied with the network at that time and quickly moved back to the Swisscom network. Today, I would not want to change the network. But I am obviously biased.

Your Phone Usage

Now, there is no single plan or prepaid card that is cheapest for each possible case. You need to know your usage of your phone:

  • How many SMS and MMS per month?
  • How many calls per month?
  • The length of these calls in minutes?
  • How many MB of data per month?

If you do not know this, you can look at your last three phone bills and make the average of your usage. This should be enough to give you an idea of how much you need on average. Generally, you should round minutes higher. A 1 minute 30 seconds call should be counted as two minutes. This is how operators are counting for the price.

For each of the case, I will list the three cheapest options. For the sake of comparison, I will exclude youth offers and special offers from the pack. If the same provider has several options in the top three, I will only take the best one. It would not make sense to take the other one anyway. Finally, I will compare with the monthly price. Since we are talking about long-term usage here, I did not include activation fees.

My Phone Usage

I checked my phone bills for the last four months and I came up with this average usage:

  • 1 SMS per month
  • 0 MMS per month
  • 8 calls per month with about 28 minutes in total
  • 600 MB per month of mobile data (can be tuned down to 500 MB easily)

I realize that I am not a very common user. Indeed, most people use their phone a lot more than I do. For instance, most people use several gigabytes (GB) of data every month. I do not like using my phone. And generally, I use mobile data when I have Wifi at home and at the gym. Unfortunately, I do not have Wifi at work. Otherwise, I would be able to keep below 100 MB.

User 1: Mr. The Poor Swiss

Let’s start the first case with my personal case: 1 SMS per month, about 30 minutes of calls per month and 500 MB of mobile data.

Here are the three cheapest options:

  1. Mucho Duo Micro (prepaid, Swisscom network): 10.05 CHF per month
  2. Coop Mobile Prepaid (prepaid, Swisscom network): 11.85 CHF per month
    1. With Surf Package and 15 Cents package
  3. Salt Prepay (prepaid, Salt network): 13.05 CHF per month
    1. With Data Package 500MB

This is really less than I would have thought. My current mobile plan (M-Budget Mobile Mini) is costing me 19 CHF per month. So, I could almost cut my fees in two by changing to Mucho Duo Micro. Guess I do not have the choice but to change now!

I could also take the Mucho Duo Mini prepaid card. For 1.10 CHF less per month, I could have 2GB of mobile data instead of 0.6GB as I have currently. But right now, I would rather have the savings than more mobile data.

User 2: Light Phone User

Let’s see what happens with a more realistic small user:

  • 50 SMS per month
  • 60 minutes per month (12 times 5 minutes calls)
  • 1 GB of data

I think this is pretty much a basic user in Switzerland.

Here are the three cheapest options for this user:

  1. Mucho Duo Mini (prepaid, Swisscom network): 17.90 CHF per month
  2. Yallo All In 20 (prepaid, Sunrise network): 20 CHF per month
    1. With Speed On Zu All on 15 package
  3. Sunrise Prepaid Budget 10 (prepaid, Sunrise network): 24 CHF per month
    1. With Speed 500 MB package

Once again, the best option is from Mucho. It is interesting to note that the Mucho option has 2GB per month whereas the others have only slightly more than 1GB for a higher price.

User 3: Medium User

Let’s take it up a notch with our third user:

  • 100 SMS per month
  • 240 minutes of calls (24 times 10 minutes calls)
  • 2 GB of data

Here are the three best options:

  • Mucho Duo Mini (prepaid, Swisscom network): 23.90 CHF per month
  • Wingo Mobile Fair Flat (plan, Swisscom network): 25 CHF per month
  • Aldi Suisse Mobile Smart M (prepaid, Sunrise Network): 28.90 CHF per month

And once again, Mucho is shining in the first place! But it is very close to Wingo. And for the first time, a plan is coming in the top three.

User 4: Heavy Data user

Our user 4 uses the same as user 3, but with more data:

  • 100 SMS per month
  • 240 minutes of calls (24 times 10 minutes calls)
  • 5 GB of data

Let’s what are the options for this user:

  1. Mucho Duo Swiss (prepaid, Swisscom network): 24.90 CHF per month
  2. Salt Basic (plan, Salt network): 34.95 CHF per month
  3. Aldi Suisse Mobile Smart L (prepaid, Sunrise Network): 38.90 CHF per month

Even in the top three, there is a large difference between the different options. But once again, Mucho is the winner!

User 5: Heavier Data only user

People using their phones
Some people use their phones more than others!

User 5 only uses mobile data, no calls, and no SMS. This is not uncommon since you can easily use internet apps for calls and messages. Our user 5 uses 10 GB of data per month.

Here are the three cheapest options for user 5:

  1. Sunrise Mobile Internet Start (Plan, Sunrise network): 9 CHF per month
    • Only 2Mbps internet download speed
  2. Yallo Go (Plan, Sunrise network): 29.00 CHF per month
  3. Mucho Plus (prepaid, Swisscom network): 29.90 CHF per month
    • With Data Mega package

Now, we can see that the first option is much cheaper than the others. However, the speed is very low. It is highly unlikely that a heavy user of mobile data would want such a low speed. The Yallo plan has 21 Mbps and the Mucho prepaid card has 50 Mbps. But it is nevertheless an option if you more about price than convenience.

User 6: Unlimited Data only user

Now, some people need even more data. Our user 5 needs 500 GB per month on its phone. Granted, this is not unlimited. But who uses more than that per month on a freaking phone?

So, here are three options:

  1. Sunrise Mobile Internet Start (Plan, Sunrise network): 9 CHF per month
    • Only 2Mbps internet download speed
  2. Yallo Go (Plan, Sunrise network): 29.00 CHF per month
  3. Lebara Data (Plan, Sunrise Network): 39.00 CHF per month

Once again, I believe that no one would like the first options. It is simply too slow. But the other two options have a very reasonable price for unlimited usage.

User 7: Frequent User Roaming

Roaming is very expensive in Switzerland. You really have to be careful about that. Unfortunately, I do not know of a very good comparator for Roaming. Moreover, the roaming rates are different for every country. So it is very difficult to compare different plans without having an exact situation.

When I travel to other countries, my strategy is very simple: I let my phone in airplane mode the whole time. If I find a Wifi, I will use it but otherwise, I will not allow myself to use any data.

For this comparison, I used the Frequent User profile from moneyland (more on that later) with France as a destination. For Switzerland, this user has the same national usage as the user 3. The Frequent Profile is defined as such:

  • 38 calls from Switzerland while abroad
  • 1.4 GB of mobile data while abroad
  • 38 calls to Switzerland while abroad, 2.5 minutes per call
  • 38 calls to France while in France, 2.5 minutes per call

I think it is already quite a heavy usage of roaming. Here are the three cheapest options for this usage:

  1. Mucho Duo Mini (prepaid, Swisscom network): 23.90 CHF per month + 84.35 per year = 30.95 per month
    • With Talk Mini Roam and Data Mini Roam packages
  2. Wingo Mobile Fair Flat (plan, Swisscom network): 25 CHF per month + 101.50 per year = 33.45 CHF per month
    • With Voice Travel package
  3. Yallo All in 30 (prepaid, Sunrise network): 30 CHF per month + 90 CHF per year = 37.5 CHF per month

We can see that that this makes it significantly more expensive than User 3. However, it is more reasonable than I thought. I would not have thought that prepaid plans were interesting for roaming.

If you want better accuracy for roaming, you will have to know in which country you are going into. Then, you will need to know how often and how much usage you will need. This is not easy to estimate.

Of course, the best course of action is to not use roaming!

Phone Plans Comparators

I know two comparators in Switzerland for mobile prepaid and plans.

The first one and definitely the best one is the mobile comparator from moneyland. You can configure all the numbers precisely and the results are extremely detailed. This is the comparator I have used for all my comparisons in this post.

The second comparator is the mobile comparator from comparis. It is also good but it is much more limited in the parameters you can use. You cannot tune it to your needs. Indeed, if you know your average usage, you are much better off using the one from moneyland. However, it never hurts to use two comparators.

Conclusion

I have to say that I am surprised by the results of the comparison. I was honestly thinking I had the best mobile plan for my usage. But it turns out I can save 9 CHF per month. This is not a lot, but this is about 47% savings on my phone bill! I will definitely change my plan.

My big mistake before this article was to mostly ignore prepaid plans. I was too lazy to consider a prepaid plan. But this is pure complacency! And I do not want complacency in my finances! Prepaid cards may be a bit more work than phone plans, but prepaid cards can be significantly cheaper than plans. In fact, it is best for almost every case I checked, unless you use a lot of mobile data.

I am also surprised by the fact that the winner in most cases, Mucho, is totally new to me. I never heard of this before. But it turns it out that they are far from new. They have been around for more than 10 years. It seems I have been a bit too lazy with my phone plan research. I need to be more careful with what I use in the next coming years.

What about you? Which phone plan or prepaid card do you use? Have you ever used Mucho?

About the author

Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the main author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was spending more and more every year, falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2018, he saved more than 40% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

8 thoughts on “The Best Phone Plans in Switzerland in 2019”

  1. The clever way is to get a phone plan from a European Provider. Lots of them work perfectly well in Switzerland, allow for free calls to Swiss numbers, free data and once abroad you will be the only Swiss enjoying the EU wide free roaming while your Swiss friends shell out small fortunes to top up their already expensive CH plans to pay for a roaming that only exists because Swisscom&Co are not forwarding the EU wide free roaming as they are not required to do so by law like their EU counterparts. So if you do have the opportunity to get a EU plan, do it!

    1. Hi Bradley,

      That’s a very good idea!

      I didn’t know they were accepting Swiss clients. Do you know if all of them are accepting Swiss customers?

      Yes, it’s pretty sad that big mobile companies are lobbying against free roaming. I really wish they stopped that and simply follow the trend. It’s so incredibly expensive currently.

      Thanks a lot for the suggestion!

      1. According to my knowledge the EU providers do not accept Swiss customers. You need to have EU ID/address/whatever otherwise you count like a migrant from Syria. But that is not that bad as you think since then you can receive an anonymus kind of credit card topping up monthly by the EU community.
        https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/immigrants-prepaid-credit-cards-social-security-1282.php
        And if you want and manage to have prepaid phone from EU country you will need to proof your identity regularly because it expires after a while. So you can buy a sim at a petrolstation and start using it instantly but it will expire if you are not good enough in managing such things.

        1. Hi baseldon,

          I did not know such a thing even existed. If the reason is just to rip off the migrants with fees, that’s pretty sad…

          I would also have guessed that they need proof of residency in the EU.

          I’d rather keep to my Swiss plan for now. This seems a bit edgy.

          Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think you haven’t included Lycamobile in your comparison. I pay 20 francs for 8000 minutes of calls, 6000 messages, 10 GB data and 100 MB roaming data. It is perfect for the internet heavy users with occasional calling requirements. The plan is called Hellos Swiss M Online

    1. Hi Anil,

      That seems very interesting! I didn’t know about Lycamobile. There are too many options in Switzerland, I only included the ones that were on moneyland.
      The Hello Swiss M bundle seems to be 39CHF now. But the Hello Swiss S seems really interesting!

      How is the service?

      Thanks for sharing!

      1. I also have Lycamobile Hello Swiss M, and It works well. Just the website and app are poor and a bit messy but calls and 4G are fine. It’s 19 CHF if paid online, no contract (monthly recharge). I have unlimited calls to all Europe, in Roaming too, and 1 GB data Roaming. Only data roaming is actually not working for me, but the problem seems to be my mobile phone (Xiaomi). My wife has an iPhone and has no issues at all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *