A while ago we described how to get affordable 3G access when traveling to Italy. Today, we continue this series with a report on Swiss prepaid data tariffs. In Switzerland there are three providers, Swisscom, Orange and sunrise. Swisscom has by far the best 3G coverage covering 93% of the population.
Luckily Swisscom also offers the most attractive prepaid card with data tariff. There are plenty of different prepaid options available. Two options are interesting for travelers who want to avoid monthly charges:
|NATEL easy liberty uno||NATEL Easy BeFree|
|Data usage||CHF 1.–/MB, CHF 5.–/day max.||CHF 4.–/day flat when used|
|National calls:||CHF 0.80/h||CHF 3.–/day flat when used|
|SIM card (valid 24 months):||CHF 40.–||CHF 40.–|
There’s a “fair” use policy on data usage: After more than 2 GB/month the bandwidth will be throttled.
Incoming calls and SMS while logged into the home network are free as usual in Europe.
More details on the Swisscom website.
Getting the SIM card
SIM cards can’t be ordered online in advance so make your plans to visit a Swisscom store. Swisscom stores can be found in every major city. Use Where To? (Shopping:Mobile Phones:Swisscom) or the Swisscom store finder to find the next one. To create the account, bring your passport or ID. The SIM card will be CHF 49.– including a CHF 9 .– prepaid credit. Even though it’s just a prepaid card, calculate 30 minutes for the paperwork. You’re essentially signing for a 24 months contract (without ongoing fees). So if you come back to Switzerland in less than 2 years, you can still use the account and save the CHF 40.– per SIM card.
When the credit is eaten up, you’ll be notified via SMS and you can top up the account online via credit card.
For iPad, Swisscom offers similarly priced data-only packages:
|Data usage:||100 MB||300 MB||2 GB|
|Costs:||CHF 5.–/day||CHF 19.–/30 days||CHF 39.–/30 days|
Although iPad SIM cards can be purchased online, due to legal reasons, registration and activation of the SIM card has to be done in a Swisscom store.
Usually, the iPhone is auto-configured for the Swisscom network, so you don’t have to enter any APN settings. If the connection doesn’t come up, you can enter these manual settings:
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