roaming new pricing summer holiday 2021
Telecom News

Roaming Becomes Cheaper Right on Time for Summer Travel 2021

June 28, 2021 - Ralf Beyeler

From July 1, 2021, new Swiss roaming regulations will take effect. Many mobile users will pay much less for roaming than they did before. But there are still big differences between telecom service providers.

As a result of a change made to Swiss telecommunications regulations, two important changes will apply to mobile roaming using Swiss mobile services. Firstly, data roaming bundles and some options for call roaming will need to have validity periods of at least one year. Secondly, mobile service providers generally need to use per-second billing for roaming calls.

The new rules are shaking the market. Major changes are being made to the roaming services offered to Swiss consumers. Many offers are being phased out while new ones are being launched.

New data bundles for multiple trips

“The new 12-month expiry period for data roaming bundles is the most important change,” notes Ralf Beyeler, telecom expert at online comparison service “Mobile users can now keep their bundles and use remaining data on their next trip outside of Switzerland.”

Various Swiss mobile service providers will now offer their customers new data roaming bundles which only expire after 12 months. These include Swisscom (and its subsidiaries Wingo, M-Budget Mobile, and Coop Mobile), Sunrise (and its subsidiary ALDI SUISSE mobile), UPC, Digitec Connect, Quickline, and Mucho Mobile.

30-day expiry periods have not gone away

One would be mistaken to believe that all Swiss roaming bundles will now have 12-month validity periods. Sunrise, for example, does offer three new data roaming bundles which are valid for 12 months. But it also offers two bundles which expire after just 30 days. Both of the 30-day bundles include unlimited data, of which 60 gigabytes is high-speed Internet. The second bundle also includes unlimited calls. These bundles cost 39.90 francs (49.90 francs for prepaid users) and 59.90 francs with unlimited calls (only available to plan subscribers). “Both of these offers are designed for traditional holidaymakers who travel abroad once a year and heavily use the Internet,” explains telecom expert Ralf Beyeler.

A look at the price list of Salt (including Das Abo and Lidl Connect) reveals that the country’s third-largest mobile service provider will continue to offer most of its existing bundles. These include a limited amount of data but still expire after just 30 days. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has clearly told that as from July 1, 2021, bundles which only include a limited amount of data must remain valid for at least 12 months.

In addition to the 30-day bundles, Salt, Das Abo and Lidl Connect also offer one bundle per roaming region which has a 12-month validity period. “These bundles cost around 100, 300 and 400 francs. Salt’s approach is not very customer friendly. Very few travelers are likely to pay 100 francs for a large 10-gigabyte data roaming bundle. So Salt’s product offering ignores the needs of many customers,” says Beyeler. Although the new regulations come into effect on July 1, Salt will only begin offering 12-month bundles on July 10, 2021.

The telecom company stressed to that it does offer bundles with the 12-month term required by law. Salt says that the smaller, cheaper bundles fill a customer need, and that it is in communication with OFCOM with regards to its bundles.

Expensive unlimited bundles

The Sunrise subsidiaries Yallo and Lebara do not offer any data-roaming bundles with 12-month expiry periods. Instead, these service providers will now offer a data roaming bundle with 10 and 60 gigabytes of roaming data respectively, which let you continue to get online at a throttled speed once allowances are used. The bundles cost 15 and 45 francs respectively, and expire after 3 days (Yallo) or 30 days (Lebara).

“It is too bad that Yallo and Lebara do not offer their customers any data-roaming bundles with one-year validity periods. Many mobile users do not need unlimited data for their trips abroad. The large amount of data included makes these offers relatively expensive,” says telecom expert Beyeler. But the offers are in accordance with the new OFCOM regulations because they have unlimited data.

The cheapest roaming offers with 12-month expiry periods

The new roaming bundles let Swiss consumers get online while traveling throughout an entire year. The now includes a profile for roaming in Europe for one year. The profile is based on a user who needs 6 gigabytes of roaming data and 120 minutes of roaming calls per year.

For offers which are valid for less than one year, it is assumed that the mobile user will travel abroad for 14 days in summer and seven days in autumn, and also travel abroad twice over long weekends, with each trip lasting four days.

The results of the comparison show that Mucho Mobile is the most affordable, at 77.80 francs. It is followed by Swype from Yallo at 87 francs. Swisscom takes third place at 111.60 francs. ALDI SUISSE mobile, M-Budget Mobile, Wingo, and Quickline all follow with costs of around 120 francs. These service providers do not have any offers which are expire after shorter periods.


Mobile Service Costs 2021 Valid for
Mucho Mobile 77.80 12 months
Yallo swype 87.00 4 individual trips*
Swisscom 111.60 12 months
TalkTalk (plan) 115.50 4 individual trips*
ALDI SUISSE Mobile 119.20 12 months
M-Budget 119.60 12 months
Wingo 119.60 12 months
Quickline 121.80 12 months
Sunrise 163.20 4 individual trips*
Coop Mobile 153.80 12 months
Das ABO 168.70 4 individual trips*
Lidl Connect (plan) 168.70 4 individual trips*
Salt (plan) 168.70 4 individual trips*
Lebara (plan) 170.00 4 individual trips*
Yallo (plan) 170.00 4 individual trips*
digitec Connect 199.40 12 months
Salt (prepaid) 304.80 4 individual trips*
Lidl Connect (prepaid) 304.80 4 individual trips*
UPC 378.00 12 months
TalkTalk (prepaid) 6121.20 12 months

*Calculated based on four trips within one year: 14 days during the summer holidays (3000 megabytes, 30 calls), 7 days during the autumn holidays (1500 megabytes, 18 calls), and two 4-day trips (750 megabytes and 6 calls each). The calls are divided equally between calls within the travel country, calls to Switzerland, and incoming calls.

It is interesting to note that six of the eight cheapest offers in this comparison are valid for a full year. The other two offers are combinations of shorter-term bundles. Telecom expert Ralf Beyeler’s recommendation: “Stick to data roaming bundles which only expire after 12 months. If you also make a lot of phone calls, then this applies to call roaming as well.” Ultimately, the cost is the most important factor. For example, UPC offers bundles which are valid for 12 months, but with a 378-franc price tag, they are hugely more expensive than those of other service providers.

Holidaymakers will enjoy much cheaper roaming this summer

Mobile roaming will cost a lot less compared to last year – even for users who only need a roaming bundle for a single trip abroad. For its cost calculations, created a user profile specifically for mobile roaming in Europe during the summer holidays. The profile is based on a 14-day stay in an EU country, with 1000 megabytes of data required and 60 two-minute calls made. For telecom service providers which charge different prices for roaming in different EU countries, used the pricing for Spain as the basis for calculations. The cost comparison does not account for roaming allowances included in mobile plans.  

When costs are compared to those in summer 2020, it is clear that travelers will pay significantly less for roaming this year. The main reason for this is that mobile services will be required to use per-second billing from July 1, 2021, as per new telecom regulations.

The cost reduction is most apparent in the case of Coop Mobile. A customer matching the profile used will spend just 53.80 francs this year, down from 98.50 francs last year. But cost cuts of up to 28 percent can be found across many other Swiss telecom service providers as well.


Mobile Service Costs 2021 Change Costs 2020 Costs 2019 Costs 2018
Mucho Mobile 33.80 - 9.90 / - 23% 43.70 43.70 --
Yallo swype 42.00 -- 42.00 -- --
ALDI SUISSE Mobile 44.70 - 15.10 / -25% 59.80 59.80 87.80
Swisscom 46.70 - 13.20 / - 22% 59.90 59.90 64.90
M-Budget (plan) 49.70 - 15.10 / - 23% 64.80 64.80 90.00
M-Budget (prepaid) 49.70 - 19.80 / - 28% 69.50 69.50 64.90
Wingo 49.70 - 10.30 / - 17% 60.00 50.00 50.00
Coop Mobile 53.80 - 44.70 / - 45% 98.50 98.50 78.95
Das ABO 53.95 - 6.00 / - 10% 59.95 58.95 58.95
Lidl Connect (plan) 53.95 - 6.00 / - 10% 59.95 -- --
Salt (plan) 53.95 - 6.00 / - 10% 59.95 58.95 58.95
TalkTalk (plan) 54.00 - 8.50 / - 14% 62.50 62.50 181.45
Sunrise (plan) 59.90 -- 59.90 69.90 69.00
Quickline 61.80 - 11.70 / - 16% 73.50 74.50 --
Lebara (plan) 65.00 + 25.00 / + 63% 40.00 40.00 50.00
Yallo (plan) 65.00 + 25.00 / + 63% 40.00 40.00 50.00
UPC 78.00 - 9.00 / - 10% 87.00 87.00 87.00
Sunrise (prepaid) 85.80 - 9.10 / - 10% 94.90 79.90 94.00
digitec Connect 124.90 - 27.50 / - 18% 152.40 -- --
Lidl Connect (prepaid) 223.95 - 51.00 / - 19% 274.95 -- --
Salt (prepaid) 223.95 - 51.00 / - 19% 274.95 273.95 273.95
TalkTalk (prepaid) 1121.20 - 30.30 / - 3% 1151.50 1151.50 1151.50


Yallo and Lebara no longer the cheapest

Only Yallo and Lebara are becoming more expensive. Customers matching the profile used will pay 65 francs this summer, compared to 40 francs a year ago – a 68 percent price increase. The reason for this is that Yallo and Lebara will no longer offer cheap roaming bundles with limited data. Customers now have to buy the relatively expensive unlimited bundles. While these two service providers were previously among the most affordable, they now fall on the lower end of the cost comparison.

The clear winner for this profile is Geneva-based prepaid service Mucho Mobile, with total costs of 33.80 francs. It is followed by Yallo Swype at 42 francs, ALDI Suisse Mobile at 44.70 francs, and Swisscom at 46.70 francs.

These mobile services are cheapest for data roaming only

Many people no longer make conventional phone calls while traveling, but only use their phones to get online. In light of that trend, also compared the cost of pure data roaming in Europe without calls.

Travelers who use 1 gigabyte of roaming data spread out over one year come off cheapest with Mucho Mobile, at 14 francs. ALDI Suisse mobile, Digitec Connect, Sunrise, Swisscom and Quickline come next at 15 francs. At 60 francs, UPC is much more expensive. Salt customers would pay around 100 francs because the cheapest bundle with a 12-month validity term includes 10 gigabytes of data.

Mucho Mobile is also the cheapest if you use 3 gigabytes over one year, at 29 francs. Sunrise, Swisscom, and Quickline customers need to pay around 40 francs for 3 gigabytes of data roaming.

Things look very different if you need 10 gigabytes of roaming data spread over one year. Sunrise is the cheapest at 80 francs, followed by Swisscom (90 francs) and Mucho Mobile (around 100 francs).


Mobile Service Costs for
1 GB 3 GB 10 GB
Mucho Mobile 14.00 29.00 98.00
ALDI SUISSE mobile 14.90 44.70 149.00
Digitec (plan) 14.90 44.70 149.00
Sunrise 14.90 39.90 79.80
Swisscom 14.90 39.90 89.90
Quickline 15.00 40.00 125.00
Wingo 15.90 42.90 144.60
M-Budget Mobile 15.90 42.90 144.60
Coop Mobile 20.00 60.00 200.00
UPC 60.00 180.00 600.00
Das ABO 99.95 99.95 99.95
Salt 99.95 99.95 99.95
Lidl 99.95 99.95 99.95
TalkTalk (prepaid) 1000.00 3000.00 10'000.00


Some service providers offer data bundles with expiry periods shorter than one year. This cost comparison shows data roaming bundles with 1, 3, and 10 gigabytes and a validity period of at least 30 days:


Mobile Service Costs for 1 GB Costs for 3 GB Costs for 10 GB
TalkTalk (plan) 12.00 30.00 60.00
Sunrise 14.90* 39.90 39.90
Qynamic 15.00 39.00 85.00
Das ABO 19.95 49.90 99.95
Lidl 19.95 49.90 99.95
Salt 19.95 49.90 99.95
Lebara (plan)** 45.00 45.00 45.00
Yallo (plan) 2** 45.00 45.00 45.00

*The Sunrise Travel M bundle with 1 gigabyte expires after 1 year.
**Yallo and Lebara also offer so-called “unlimited” bundles with 10 gigabytes of high-speed Internet for 15 francs. But these expire after just 3 days.

Roaming pitfalls are still with us

Even in 2021, travelers still have to be wary of roaming traps. Looking over terms and conditions and finding suitable roaming options and bundles before you travel is still important. Using your phone outside of Switzerland without first activating a saving solution can still have a nasty impact on your telephone bill.

Many Swiss mobile service providers offer plans which include roaming allowances. These are practical because you can pretty much use your phone while traveling in Europe without having to take special steps first. But plans with large roaming allowances are an expensive option for typical holidaymakers. If you only travel abroad a couple of times each year, you can generally save money by buying a roaming bundle instead of paying the high prices of plans which include roaming allowances.

More on this topic:
Learn how to get online while traveling without spending a fortune
This is how to make calls while traveling without getting ripped off
Find the best roaming solution for your mobile plan with the roaming wizard
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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.