Telecom News

International Phone Calls from Switzerland: Cost Comparison

August 26, 2021 - Ralf Beyeler

How much do international phone calls from Switzerland cost? A comparison by shows major differences in rates between phone plans. Mobile plans which include international calls are available at flat rates as low as 20 francs per month, and are typically cheaper than landline plans.

More than 2 million foreigners live in Switzerland, making up around one-fourth of the total population. Additionally, many Swiss citizens have foreign roots or have lived abroad, and have friends and relatives in other countries.

With this internationally-inclined population, it is not surprising that international phone calls are very popular. In 2017, registered Swiss telecom service providers recorded around 3 billion minutes of international calls from Switzerland to other countries. Of these, around 960 million minutes were made from landline phones and more than 2 billion were made from mobile phones, according to the Federal Office of Communications. Calls made using over-the-top services like WhatsApp or Skype are not accounted for in these statistics.

Calling relatives or friends abroad is particularly popular among residents of Switzerland during the holiday season.

Switzerland’s independent online comparison service studied the costs of international calls for Swiss consumers.

The verdict: “Consumers who frequently make international calls should use a plan with a flat fee for international calls,” advises telecom expert Ralf Beyeler. Mobile plans typically have lower flat fees than landline phone plans.

Flat fee plans for international calls compared

A number of mobile and landline plans and prepaid services now include international calls in their flat fees are now offered in Switzerland.

There are major differences between mobile service providers. The most affordable plan which includes international calls in its flat fee is the EU & US plan from TalkTalk. The plan has a 19.95-franc monthly flat fee which covers local calls within Switzerland and calls from Switzerland to Norway, Canada, the US and all European Union (EU) countries. The monthly flat fee also covers 2 gigabytes of mobile data which can be used in all of these countries.

Much more expensive plans – such as the inOne Mobile premium plan from Swisscom which costs 200 francs per month – include similar international calling allowances. These expensive plans normally also include many other services like unlimited local mobile data or mobile roaming allowances.

Sunrise and Swisscom also offer optional international call bundles for a flat fee which let you make unlimited calls to certain countries. These bundles can be added to existing plans.

No flat fees for some European countries

The countries covered by flat fees vary between offers. Only Swisscom, Sunrise and TalkTalk include calls to all EU countries. Salt’s flat fees include all EU countries except Croatia.

Most flat fees for international calls also cover Iceland and Norway in addition to EU countries. But there are some European countries which are rarely or never included in flat fees. For example, only Lebara and some Yallo offers include calls to Kosovo in their flat fees.

The telecom map of Europe on shows which countries are most commonly covered by Swiss flat-fee telecom offers. Surprisingly, there is not a single Swiss flat-fee telecom solution which includes international calls to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Belarus.

“Before getting a flat-fee solution for international calls, make sure to check that the countries you plan to call to are included,” recommends telecom expert Ralf Beyeler. The easiest way to compare costs and coverage based on countries is to use the interactive mobile plan comparison on The comparison also accounts for optional international call bundles.

Calls to countries outside of Europe

The majority of Swiss mobile service providers do not offer flat-fee solutions for calls to most countries outside of Europe. The US and Canada are exceptions to this rule, and are covered by most mobile plans which include international calls in their flat fees.

Some offers also cover locations which you would not expect Swiss mobile plans to include. For example, Sunrise includes coverage for Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Salt includes calls to Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan and New Zealand in its flat fees. Mucho includes calls to French Guyana (South America), Martinique and Reunion in its international call plans.

Offers with limited international call allowances

Some plans and optional bundles provide limited international call allowances which let you call non-European countries for a certain number of minutes. For this comparison, accounted for offers which include at least 300 minutes per month of international phone call allowances.

Price differences between service providers are notable. For example, the Duo Mondo offer from Mucho lets you make up to 1000 minutes of call to landline and mobile numbers in 70 countries and has a 49-franc flat fee. In addition to many European countries, the plan also covers Argentina, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and many more.

The international call map shows which countries are covered by these kinds of offers. For example, there are offers which include calls to many countries in Asia and Latin America, but only cover a handful of African countries.

Compare offers based on your combined telecom needs

When looking for the right telecom plan, it is important to consider all of your needs and not just the international call allowances. Local calls and mobile data within Switzerland and mobile and data roaming should also be considered. The practical and comprehensive mobile plan comparison on lets you compare plans based on all key features,” explains telecom expert Ralf Beyeler.

A further tip from Ralf Beyeler: “If your phone supports two SIM cards, using different mobile services for local and international calls can be a sensible move.”

Messaging apps as a free alternative

Internet messaging services provide an alternative to mobile and landline phone calls. Most messaging services can be used at no financial cost other than that of the required Internet connection. In almost every case, calls can only be made to other users of the same app. The most popular messaging apps are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. There are notable differences in call quality between services.

In order to avoid additional data costs, you should only use WhatsApp and similar services for making calls if your device has unlimited data at a flat fee or is connected to a home or public Internet connection via WLAN. Avoid using apps to make calls while roaming, as data roaming is typically expensive and costs can quickly add up.

Only a handful of landline offers

Of the major Swiss telecom service providers Swisscom, Sunrise, Salt and UPC, only Swisscom offers a landline plan with a flat fee that covers international calls to many foreign landline and mobile networks. The inOne Telephony L landline plan has a 35-franc monthly flat fee which covers calls to all EU countries, the United States and Canada.

Sunrise offers an option which can be added to its landline plan which lets you make unlimited calls to Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Spain and the United States. The option has a 15-franc monthly flat fee. UPC, Switzerland’s largest cable network operator, offers a landline plan which includes international calls in its flat rate. But this plan only covers international calls to mobile phones in the United States and Canada. For calls to other countries, only calls to landline phones are covered.

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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.