roaming summer holiday 2022

The Cheapest and Most Expensive Swiss Mobile Services for Roaming

June 28, 2022 - Ralf Beyeler

A analysis of Swiss mobile service providers just ahead of the summer holidays shows huge differences in the costs of making calls and using data while traveling abroad.

After the past two years of hampered travel caused by corona virus prevention measures, this year will likely see Swiss holidaying abroad in larger numbers once again. To help spare travelers from nasty surprises on their phone bills, telecom expert Ralf Beyeler took a close look at the mobile roaming service offered by Swiss telecom companies.

“Roaming fees and charges are still incredibly complex,” says Beyeler. But he stresses that mobile service users should still always inform themselves about the costs and get the needed roaming bundles before traveling. Travelers who do not prepare can find themselves paying up to several hundred francs and having their mobile service put on hold for the rest of their holiday after just a few minutes spent using their phone at their destination.

How much will two weeks of holiday roaming cost you?

Geneva-based mobile service Mucho has the lowest costs for two weeks of mobile roaming in EU countries. It charges 33.80 francs for 1 gigabyte of roaming data and 120 minutes of roaming calls. Yallo Swype and Aldi are also relatively cheap (see table 1).

Two weeks of roaming in EU countries with leading service provider Swisscom costs 46.70 francs. Sunrise sits about halfway up the scale, with costs of 70.90 francs for plan subscribers, and 70.90 francs for prepaid customers. Salt, Switzerland’s third-largest mobile service provider, charges between 58.95 francs and 307.95 francs, depending on the country and on whether you use a plan or prepaid mobile. Prepaid services from Talk Talk are the most expensive, with two weeks of roaming in EU countries costing more than 1100 francs.  

Table 1: Cheapest mobile service for two weeks of roaming in EU countries

Mobile service Costs
Mucho Mobile CHF 33.80
Yallo Swype CHF 42.00
Aldi Suisse Mobile CHF 44.70
Swisscom CHF 46.70
M-Budget (plan) CHF 49.70

The detailed comparison available as a PDF includes all service providers and the bases for calculations.

Salt and Lidl raise their prices

The cost of using mobile roaming for two weeks with Salt and Lidl Connect has drastically increased compared to last year. This is particularly true for specific EU countries like Croatia. The cost of roaming in these countries for two weeks is now 107.95 francs – double what it was last year.

Salt and Lidl Connect are the only service providers included in the analysis which have raised their roaming prices since last year. Using roaming throughout a two-week summer holiday with Digitec, Talk DigiTech mobile plans, Salt plans (in certain EU countries like Spain), and Sunrise prepaid mobile now costs less than it did one year ago.

Year-round mobile roaming

If your international travel consists of a two-week holiday once a year, then it is worth noting that a few telecom service providers offer roaming bundles which expire after short periods of time. These bundles often have validity periods of 30 days or less. But nearly all service providers offer bundles which remain valid for a full year. The evaluation shows that in around half of the cases, annual roaming bundles are the cheapest option. For the other half of mobile offers, the cheapest options are either not using an annual bundle or a combination of an annual bundle and a short-term option.

For the comparison, calculated how much a person would pay for roaming across a two-week summer holiday, a one-week autumn holiday, and two short, four-day getaways in EU countries. The analysis is based on usage of 6 gigabytes of roaming data and 120 minutes of roaming calls across all of these trips. The only mobile services which would charge less than 100 francs for this roaming use are Mucho and Yallo Swype (see table 2).

Swisscom charges 111.60 francs. Sunrise charges 165.20 francs. Salt charges between 133.90 and 367.90 francs, depending on which countries you use roaming in, and whether you use a plan or prepaid mobile.

Table 2: Cheapest mobile service for multiple trips to EU countries

Mobile service Costs
Mucho Mobile CHF 77.80
Yallo Swype CHF 87.00
Talk Talk (plan) CHF 102.00
Swisscom CHF 111.60
Aldi Suisse Mobile CHF 119.20

The detailed comparison available as a PDF includes all service providers and the bases for calculations.

Talk Talk prepaid mobile users would pay the most for travel matching this profile, with total roaming costs in excess of 6100 francs. “That is a purely theoretical figure,” explains Beyeler. In practice, the costs of roaming using prepaid mobile cannot exceed the credits available in the prepaid account.

What does data roaming without calls cost?

Many holidaymakers do not make or receive phone calls while traveling, but want to remain online all the time while traveling. Because this use of roaming is fairly widespread, calculated the costs of data-only roaming bundles. The new data roaming calculator makes it easy to find out which data bundles are available for the country you will be traveling to.

The most affordable services providers are Digitec, Digital Republic, and Teleboy, which charge around 10 francs for a one-gigabyte data bundle which can be used to get online in EU countries and only expires after one year (see table 3). All three of these service providers have recently lowered their prices for data roaming bundles. Other service providers, on the other hand, have not reduced their fees and charges for roaming in EU countries.

Table 3: Cheapest mobile service for data roaming in the EU

Mobile service 1 GB 3 GB 10 GB
Digitec (plan) CHF 9.90 CHF 29.70 CHF 99.90
Digital Republic CHF 10.00 CHF 30.00 CHF 100.00
Teleboy CHF 10.00 CHF 30.00 CHF 100.00
Mucho Mobile CHF 14.00 CHF 29.00 CHF 98.00
Aldi Suisse Mobile CHF 14.90 CHF 44.70 CHF 149.00

The detailed comparison available as a PDF includes all service providers and the bases for calculations.

Many service providers – including Sunrise and Swisscom – charge around 15 francs for a one-gigabyte bundle. Salt’s price tags vary between 24.95 and 39.95 francs, depending on the country, but its data bundles include 1.5 gigabytes of data.

Some service providers also offer larger bundles with one-year expiry periods which have a lower per-gigabyte cost. These bundles include between 3 and 12 gigabytes of roaming data. “When you get these larger bundles, there is always a chance that you will not actually use all of the data you pay for,” explains Beyeler.

The multiple-gigabyte data roaming bundles from Sunrise have the lowest per-gigabyte price, at 7.79 francs. It is followed by Salt and Lidl at 8.13 francs per gigabyte (these bundles are not valid in all EU countries), and Swisscom at 8.78 francs per gigabyte.

What does data roaming outside of Europe cost?

Price differences for mobile roaming in non-EU countries are particularly high. You also have to be careful when you travel to some EU countries (Croatia, for example) because some Swiss mobile service providers exclude certain countries from their “Europe” price regions. compared the costs of one gigabyte of roaming data in 14 select holiday destinations. You can find the detailed results in the separate table.

Which country you use mobile roaming in is the biggest factor in determining which service provider is the cheapest. For example, Digitec customers pay 9.90 francs for one gigabyte of roaming data for Canada, Croatia, Turkey, and the US. That is the cheapest price for roaming in those countries. “Digitec charges the same prices for roaming in Turkey and the US as it does for roaming in EU countries – and it currently has the lowest priced for roaming in EU member countries,” clarifies Beyeler. But if you were to use Digitec to get online in Vietnam, you would pay an outrageous 780 francs for one gigabyte of data.

The situation is similar for Swisscom. Its 19.90-franc data bundle is currently the cheapest mobile service for data roaming in many countries and territories, including Albania, Kosovo, and Thailand. But roaming in Cuba with Swisscom costs an astronomical 9990 francs per gigabyte. “Swisscom’s data bundle for Cuba is tiny, with just 10 megabytes of data, and costs 99.90 francs,” explains Beyeler. But the telecom expert stresses once again that costs like this are theoretical. “Service providers generally put roaming on hold once charges reach several hundred francs or exceed limits defined by customers.”

Table 4: Cheapest mobile service for one gigabyte of data roaming in popular travel destinations

Destination Cheapest mobile service Price
Albania Swisscom CHF 19.90
Bosnia-Herzegovina Swisscom CHF 19.90
Canada Digitec CHF 9.90
Kosovo Swisscom CHF 19.90
Croatia Digitec CHF 9.90
Cuba Talk Talk CHF 140.00
Macedonia Swisscom CHF 19.90
Montenegro Swisscom CHF 19.90
Serbia Swisscom CHF 19.90
Thailand Swisscom CHF 19.90
Tunisia Swisscom CHF 59.90
Turkey Digitec CHF 9.90
USA Digitec CHF 9.90
Vietnam Sunrise CHF 29.80

The detailed comparison available as a PDF includes all service providers and the bases for calculations.

There are massive differences between mobile service providers, concludes Beyeler. For most countries, the most expensive mobile service charges fourteen to fifteen times more for one gigabyte of data than the cheapest service provider. Ralf Beyeler does not agree with this arrangement. “There is no justification for the huge price differences.” All mobile service providers buy network allowances from foreign telecom companies. “I cannot imagine that the differences in what service providers pay for these allowances could possibly be that big,” comments Beyeler. He believes that “it is high time for expensive service providers to improve their terms and conditions.”

Many mobile users pay too much

Many customers pay too much because they use mobile plans which include roaming allowances even though they do not go abroad every month. Analyses by show that for typical holiday travelers, using plans which only include allowances for Switzerland and adding optional roaming options or bundles ahead of traveling generally works out much cheaper. However, there are rare exceptions – such as plans with roaming allowances which are offered as part of special promotions.

More on this topic:
Get the full comparison as a PDF
Use the roaming wizard now
Use the data roaming calculator now
Useful tips for data roaming
Useful tips for call roaming

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