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best sim card switzerland

The 10 Best Switzerland SIM Cards in 2022

Author: Anthony Lee

Phone & Tablet Expert

best switzerland sim card

The holiday is approaching – a trip to beautiful Switzerland. Regardless of whether you want to hike in this country or visit the big cities such as Zurich, Geneva or Bern – remember that you are using your mobile phone for the internet away from the home network! This means that roaming costs have to be paid here.

In almost all European countries, roaming fees have been abolished since June 15, 2017, so that when traveling abroad you pay the same prices for calls, SMS and mobile internet as at home.

But unfortunately, this regulation does not apply in Switzerland as it is not an EU country and the conditions of “roam like at home” do not apply. In some cases, providers also offer roaming in Switzerland at no additional cost, for example, Telekom with a few special data packages.

Find below our favorite SIM Cards for Switzerland.

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Are you looking for an alternative to SIM Cards? We compared the best Pocket WiFi’s.

Three - Pay As You Go Sim Card for Switzerland

Founded in Hong Kong, but mostly known for its operations in the United Kingdom, Three has evolved to be one of the major internet service providers around the world. Today, Three provides mobile internet service to more than 130 million customers. With the SIM Cards offered by the Three and the Go Roam program, you can browse through the internet in more than 70 countries worldwide. The full coverage can be found here.

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Orange - The European Prepaid Data Sim Card

If you are traveling to Switzerland, it is definitely worth taking a look at Orange. Orange is the one the major mobile internet companies and its network has been recognized as the best across Europe several times now. Originally known as France Telecom, Orange now has over 250 million customers and is known for its generous Europe SIM Card package. You will be able to use the mobile internet not only in Spain but all across Europe. See below the details.

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Cellhire - International Mobile Sim for Switzerland

Cellhire might be less known than the other companies mentioned here but they are the leading supplier during events (FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Tour de France and many more). With the headquarters in the United Kingdom and many across offices across the glove, Cellhire has itself established as a major internet provider. The Switzerland SIM Cards offered by them provides a great value.

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OneSimCard - International SIM Card for Switzerland

When it comes to international SIM Cards, we definitely cannot overlook OneSimCard. This international mobile service providers offered Prepaid SIM Cards for more than 200 countries worldwide. They allow free incoming calls from 162 countries. So if you need to enjoy mobile data service in Switzerland and would like to be able to receive calls, then OneSimCard is the right choice for you!

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KeepGo - Free Roaming SIM Card for Switzerland

You may have not heard about KeepGo before but this company is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica and AT&T.  The SIM Card provided by KeepGo is valid forever – without any contract! If you need to use internet in Switzerland, you simply upload some credit and off you go. It is the most convenient option available if you are traveling to Switzerland several times per year.

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O2 - Mobile Internet Provider in Switzerland

O2 is a subsidiary of Telefonica UK Limited and employs more than 6700 employees and 450 retail stores worldwide. Just recently, O2 has been awarded as the prize of the Best Network Coverage in 2019 (second time in a row). This mobile network operator is famously known for its blue color and the bubbles. Besides that, they offer great value on their Prepaid SIM Cards for Europe and Switzerland. Perfect for holiday or business trip abroad to save roaming charges.

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FAQ - SIM Card Switzerland

SIM Card for Switzerland - is it necessary at all?

No matter how long you are in Switzerland, it could be worth buying a Prepaid SIM Card. You do not enter into a contract and get a credit that you can use and recharge, no matter when and how much.

When you buy a Swiss prepaid card, you also get a Swiss phone number in most cases where you can be reached without having to pay for incoming calls.

Be prepared that you get little GB for a lot of money from every provider. The best network is at “Swisscom Mobile”, “Orange” and “sunrise”.

The latter has, for example, a “basic tariff” (calls / SMS / surfing 4G + unlimited in Switzerland), which applies 24 hours from the time of the first SMS or the first call and you pay CHF 2.50 (US$2.6). It would be practical for transit, but again not for several days.

International calls can cause additional costs. Sunrise also has larger packages, but unfortunately, international calls and roaming services are not included.

Things to consider before the purchase

First of all, it is important that the prepaid card for Switzerland fits your mobile phone. So pay attention to the format of the SIM card – an iPhone needs a different size than an old Nokia cell phone. In addition, your cell phone must be activated for all networks (in other words, it must be unlocked). It is best to clarify this in advance with your operator at home. If you follow these guidelines, it works very simply: you buy the prepaid SIM card for your stay in Switzerland and plug it into your cell phone: you can now make calls or browse the mobile internet!

Buy a SIM Card early enough

If you get a SIM card for Switzerland before you travel, you can ensure that it is activated at exactly the right time. Travelers can also buy a SIM card in Switzerland – for example at airports, petrol stations, in supermarkets or in mobile phone shops. In this case, however, it can happen that you have to wait up to 24 hours for the activation and only have access to the more expensive internet roaming during this time.

If a SIM Card for Switzerland was bought online, it is usually delivered to your home free of charge. However, delivery can take a few days. Those who take care of this in advance have less stress during the travel time and can limit the expenses incurred in advance.

Avoid roaming charges in Switzerland

It is no secret that calling or surfing in “external networks” is considerably more expensive than at the contract partner’s home. It is, therefore, a good idea to get a prepaid card from a network operator from Switzerland for the holiday season. You can get these in numerous shops, at petrol stations or at the kiosk, or order it in advance on the Internet. One linguistic peculiarity should not go unmentioned: The Swiss speak of “PrePay” when it comes to rechargeable SIM cards.

It is advisable to buy a second SIM card for Switzerland in advance. This means that tourists use local mobile operator tariffs. These are no more expensive for calls (in Switzerland) or for using the mobile Internet than for Swiss citizens. The roaming charges, which are responsible for a large part of the high costs abroad for both phone calls and internet data use, are completely eliminated.

Data-Only SIM Card

You can purchase a data-only SIM card for your smartphone, so that you can surf the internet cheap on vacation. Should you exceed your data volume, you “only” face the same consequences as at home: Your data speed is reduced (so-called throttling), but you do not have to pay any additional costs. As with phone calls, cost control is guaranteed.

If you want to know how much data you use on average, check our guide “How much internet data do I need?

Requirements for the Swiss SIM Card

You do not need the quad-band-capable devices that are often required abroad in Switzerland. In theory, you can also take an older cell phone with you, which has no high value and should only be included as a “holiday phone” for emergencies. Furthermore, it must not be a device with a SIM lock. You should make sure to purchase a SIM card that is the right size for your phone.

Prepaid or Postpaid SIM Card?

Usually, only prepaid cards can be ordered directly online. With prepaid SIM cards, customers have complete cost control at all times and cannot possibly make more calls than they have topped up with credit. To do this, however, they have to take care of recharging the credit.

This does not apply to postpaid offers: these SIM cards for Switzerland allow you to pay afterward so that tourists can browse the mobile internet and make phone calls. The big disadvantage is obvious because you can accidentally spend too much money on the cell phone and learn about it too late.

Alternatives to a SIM Card for Switzerland

Pocket WiFi

As an alternative to a local SIM Card, you can rent a Pocket WiFi with which you can easily access the internet.

You can even have it sent to you! It is small and handy and promises unlimited (4G / LTE) internet throughout Switzerland. The operation of the Pocket Wifi is very simple.

With just one push of a button, up to 10 devices can be connected at the same time, the battery lasts about 6 hours and can be charged with the supplied charging adapter.

You have no data, speed or roaming charges. To return the device, throw the device in the prepaid envelope in the next mailbox or place it at the nearest tourist information office.

 

Public WiFi

With Public WiFi, you can surf with all devices at more than 5000 hotspots in Switzerland. Not for free, but for an hourly, daily or monthly fee.

As soon as you are near a hotspot, you can easily connect your laptop, mobile phone or tablet to the network name (SSID) “Swisscom”, follow the instructions on the login page and use the internet after a few steps.

Depending on the hotspot and the amount of users, the speed may be affected.

 

Free WiFi

Some hotels offer free access within the hotel or at the reception.

Local bars, cafes, and museums also provide free internet access and you can also use it for free at some Swiss airports, but usually only for an hour.

If you want to surf longer, you can buy subscriptions that are operated by swisscom.

 

SBB WiFi

SBB offers free internet access at 80 train stations throughout Switzerland. According to the SBB, you have fast and secure internet at each of these stations and only have to register once.

The service is limited to 60 minutes per station and after a two-hour break, you can start using the SBB WiFi again.

We know that tourists are not necessarily at train stations and airports all the time. Neither do you spend your valuable time in hotels where free WiFi is available.

Prepaid SIM Cards and the Pocket WiFi device are best for a tour, but unfortunately, like everything else in Switzerland, you have to dig deep into your beloved travel budget if you rely on roaming charges.

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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate