In a surprising move, Coop is ending its 14-year joint venture with mobile service provider Salt (formerly Orange). Since September, 2005, Salt has sold mobile plans under the Coop brand. From January 9, 2019, Coop Mobile offers will be sold by Swisscom, and plans will make use of the Swisscom network.
The former Coop Mobile offer powered by Salt is being replaced by new offers from Coop Mobile and Swisscom, and a new offer from Salt.
Customers who do not deliberately move to the new Coop Mobile offers from Swisscom will automatically receive a corresponding plan from Salt.
The new Coop Mobile plan
For 29.90 Swiss francs per month, the Coop Mobile and Swisscom plan gives mobile users unlimited phone calls and SMS messages within Switzerland. The plan also includes 2.5 gigabytes of mobile data in Switzerland per month. Data allowances do not expire. When users use less than 2.5 gigabytes of mobile data in a month, the unused portion of their data allowance is carried over to the next month.
The promotional offer is also interesting: New customers who sign up for the plan before March 12, 2019 receive 100 gigabytes of mobile data which does not expire. The 100 gigabytes of data can be used at any time for as long as the user remains a Coop Mobile customer.
The new Coop Mobile prepaid offer
With the new prepaid offer from Coop Mobile, user pay 29 centimes per minute for calls within all Swiss networks. Coop Mobile users can add a 750-megabyte data bundle for 9.90 francs per month. Unused data does not expire.
Prepaid customers should add the “15-centime” bundle for phone calls and SMS messaging. This bundle includes 100 call minutes, SMS messages or MMS messages and costs 15 francs. Adding this bundle lowers the per-minute costs of phone calls to 15 centimes from the standard 29 centimes.
What can existing Coop Mobile customers expect?
Existing Coop Mobile plan customers will automatically be transferred to the Swiss Flat mobile plan from Salt, without having to get new SIM cards. Like the old Coop Mobile plan, the Swiss Flat plan has a flat fee of 29.90 francs per month and provides unlimited mobile data in Switzerland and unlimited phone calls to all Swiss networks. Salt has stated that the flat fee for unlimited mobile data will only remain a part of the plan until the end of 2019. It is not yet clear what conditions will apply from 2020.
Existing Coop Mobile prepaid customers will automatically be migrated to either the Salt Prepaid 15 or the Salt prepaid 3000 prepaid offer.
Important: Existing Coop Mobile customers who want to move to the new Coop Mobile offers from Swisscom have to apply at Coop. However, the contract terms of existing Coop Mobile plans continue to apply, meaning plan holders will pay high penalty fees if they terminate their plans ahead of schedule.
Verdict by moneyland.ch telecom expert Ralf Beyeler
Coop’s move to Swisscom as its new mobile telecom partner comes as a surprise. The move means that Switzerland’s two largest retailers – Migros and Coop – are now Swisscom partners. The move comes close on the heels of UPC’s termination of its Salt partnership and move to the Swisscom network as partner for its mobile offers.
Many Coop Mobile customers will likely be surprised that they are being migrated to Salt plans rather than the new Coop Mobile offers. UPC managed the move in a more customer-friendly way then Coop Mobile by automatically transferring them to its new Swisscom-powered offers.
The new Coop Mobile offers are similar to those which have been offered by Swisscom under its SimplyMobile brand. The terms and conditions are practically identical, with the only difference being the monthly mobile data allowance, which is 500 megabytes higher. Another surprising fact: Existing SimplyMobile customer will automatically be transferred to the new Coop Mobile offers. Swisscom will no longer sell mobile services under the SimplyMobile brand.
The fact that mobile data allowances do not expire is a major selling point for the new offers – particularly when the 100-gigabyte promotional offer is added to the equation.
Coop Mobile’s removal of unlimited mobile data at a flat fee is a let-down. The previous plan from Coop Mobile and Salt included unlimited mobile data and phone calls within Switzerland and had a 54.90-franc flat fee. Swisscom’s brand strategy may well be the reason behind the removal of this feature. Swisscom only offers flat-fee mobile data for its Wingo brand, but does not offer these in its co-branded M-Budget and Coop Mobile offers.
Coop Mobile wants to position itself in the market with “fair rates and conditions.” Coop and Swisscom are promising their customers a lot. However, they have not been able to fully deliver on their promise. The Coop Mobile rates for international calling from Switzerland to other countries and roaming are anything but fair.
A 250-megabyte bundle for data roaming in Europe cost 15 francs, so 1 gigabyte of data roaming costs 60 francs. By comparison, Swisscom offers its own customers 3 gigabytes of data roaming in Europe for just 49.90 francs. That makes data roaming with Coop Mobile four times more expensive as with Swisscom.
Phone users who use large amounts of mobile data in Switzerland and those who make international calls from Switzerland will also find the rates for those services unfair. A major advantage which Coop Mobile has managed to deliver with its new offers, on the other hand, is the absence of long contract terms.
Interactive mobile plan and prepaid offer comparison