Around 100 different mobile plans and prepaid offers are available to Swiss mobile telecom users, and many of these include numerous optional add-ons. The fact that consumers find it difficult to navigate potential costs without the help of comparison tools is not surprising. To help shed some light on the maze of mobile rates, telecom expert Ralf Beyeler carefully analyzed Swiss mobile telecom offers using moneyland.ch’s interactive mobile plan comparison.
Calculations accounted for total costs over the first year of using each service based on four different user profiles, without accounting for time-limited promotions. “Differences in pricing between service providers are enormous,” concludes moneyland.ch expert Beyeler. This is true even though the analysis was based on the most affordable prepaid offer and mobile plan from each telecom service provider. Differences would be far bigger if the least affordable offers were included, considering there are mobile plans with fixed fees totaling 2400 francs per year.
The following evaluations are based on four different user profiles (infrequent user, average user, average mobile data user and frequent user). Because individual telecom habits differ, performing a custom comparison is recommended for users who want to find the most affordable telecom offers for their specific needs.
Infrequent user profile
For the analysis, moneyland.ch defined an infrequent user as a mobile user who makes 5 phone calls averaging 2 minutes per call and uses 200 megabytes of data every month. The infrequent user primarily uses WLAN rather than mobile telecom services to transfer data.
For infrequent users, there is one offer which is clearly the most affordable. At 57 francs during the first year – less than 5 francs per month – the prepaid offer from retailer Coop (powered by Swisscom) is the clear winner for this user profile.
The next most affordable offer for infrequent users comes from Yallo (a Sunrise brand) and costs 90 francs during the first year – around 58 percent more than the Coop offer. Next in line are offers from Salt (91.40 francs), Swisscom (93.50 francs) and Mobilezone subsidiary TalkTalk (98.80 francs).
For infrequent users, prepaid offers are typically much more affordable than mobile plans. The most affordable mobile plan for this user profile is offered by TalkTalk. At 110.80 francs per year, it costs almost twice as much as the prepaid offer from Coop. The bulk of mobile plans are much more expensive. With just 3 exceptions, all mobile plans for infrequent users cost more than 250 francs per year.
The fact that mobile plans are more expensive than prepaid offers is clearly shown by the difference in the average cost of the most affordable prepaid offers and the average cost of the most affordable mobile plans from all service providers. The average cost of a prepaid offer for the infrequent user profile is 124.45 francs per year. The average cost of a mobile plan for the same user profile is 328.35 francs per year. That is a difference of 164 percent.
The analysis shows that using services from Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt – Switzerland’s largest mobile service providers – does not make mathematical sense for infrequent users. For example, an infrequent user would pay seven times more for the most affordable Sunrise plan than they would for the most affordable prepaid offer from Coop Mobile.
Average user profile
For this analysis, moneyland.ch defined an average user as a person who uses 2000 megabytes of mobile data per month and makes 30 telephone calls with an average length of 3 minutes per call. 2000 megabytes of mobile data per month is sufficient for mobile users who rarely use streaming services via mobile networks.
Differences in costs are as major as those found in the infrequent user analysis. And here too, there is a clear winner – the Duo Mini offer from prepaid service Mucho, at 219.80 francs over the first year.
The second most affordable offer, Smart M from ALDI SUISSE mobile (powered by Sunrise) comes to 336.80 francs – 117 francs or 53% more expensive than the Mucho offer. This is followed by the prepaid offers from M-Budget (350.40 francs), Yallo (355 francs) and Sunrise (359.90 francs), and a mobile plan from Quickline (376 francs).
Average users also generally save money by using prepaid offers as opposed to mobile plans. The most affordable mobile plan for this user profile costs 376 francs per year – 150 francs more than the most affordable prepaid offer. The average cost of the most affordable prepaid offers from all service providers for this user profile is 448.25 francs per year. The average cost of the most affordable mobile plans from all service providers for this user profile is 465.10 francs per year.
Offers from major service providers Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt are notably more expensive than offers sold under other branding. For example, a prepaid customer would pay 200 percent more with a prepaid service from Swisscom than with the most affordable prepaid offer powered by the Swisscom network (Mucho).
Average mobile data user profile
An average mobile data user, for the purpose of the analysis, uses 2000 megabytes of mobile data per month but make just one 3-minute phone call per month. 2000 megabytes of mobile data is sufficient for mobile users who do not frequently stream video or music on their phone.
For average mobile data users, the Plus offer from prepaid service Mucho works out cheapest at 134.60 francs in the first year. The next most affordable offer from Quickline is 33 francs or 24 percent more expensive. The next most affordable offer – the offer from Mobilezone subsidiary TalkTalk – is much more expensive at 290.80 francs per year. This is followed by prepaid offers from ALDI SUISSE mobile (297.80 francs) and Yallo (300 francs).
Here too, the most affordable solution for the average mobile data user profile is a prepaid offer. The price differences between prepaid offers and mobile plans can be large. For example, A Swisscom prepaid offer costs 355.70 francs per year for users with this profile. The same user would spend 580 francs per year – 63 percent more – using Swisscom’s most affordable mobile plan. The differences are also apparent in average costs. The average cost across the most affordable prepaid offers from all service providers for this user profile is 335.65 francs per year. By contrast, the average cost across the most affordable mobile plans from all service providers is 434.45 francs per year.
The higher cost of offers from Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt compared to those from other mobile service brands applies to average mobile data users as well. For example, the most affordable mobile plans from Swisscom and Salt cost around 356 francs per year – more than twice as much as the most affordable offer from Mucho.
Frequent user profile
The frequent user profile used for the analysis is based on a person who wants to be able to make as many calls and use as much mobile data as possible. For this analysis, moneyland.ch accounted for offers which include unlimited phone calls and unthrottled mobile data use.
There is a clear winner for the frequent user profile also. The Prepaid Unlimited 90 days prepaid offer from Sunrise is the most affordable, at 479.90 francs for the first year. Yallo is the second most affordable, with a prepaid offer that costs 600 francs over the first year for this user profile. The next runners up are all mobile plans, with the mobile plan from Wingo (700 francs) and a plan from Yallo (745 francs) taking third and fourth place. UPC is the most expensive, at 877 francs during the first year.
For frequent users too, prepaid offers are now more affordable than plans. The most affordable mobile plan is 56% more expensive than the most affordable prepaid offer. While budget telecom service brands dominate in terms of costs for other user profiles, budget services like ALDI SUISSE mobile, Coop Mobile, M-Budget and Mucho do not offer any services suitable for the frequent user profile.
Comparing offers is key
The analyses shown here are based on specific user profiles. Depending on individual user behavior and needs, costs can be very different to those applicable to the generic profile. The interactive mobile plan and prepaid offer comparison on moneyland.ch lets you compare the costs of mobile offers based on your individual needs. Offers can also be sorted by customer satisfaction ratings.
Interactive mobile plan and prepaid offer cost comparison