Telecom News

Salt Raises and Cuts Roaming Prices

June 18, 2019 - Ralf Beyeler

Switzerland’s third-largest mobile service provider Salt has made changes to its data roaming pricing. Data roaming in Europe now costs more. Outside of Europe, the data roaming charges for some countries have been cut by half, while those for other countries have doubled.

As of June 11, 2019, the pricing for Salt’s data roaming bundles for plan users has changed. Additionally, 52 countries have been redistributed into different roaming rate zones. These changes also apply to Das ABO/L’ABO plans. They do not apply to Salt prepaid services.

Data roaming in Europe up to 5% more expensive

While other service providers are lowering their data roaming pricing for Europe, Salt is moving in the opposite direction and increasing its prices for data roaming for Europe. Salt now charges 19.95 Swiss francs for 1 gigabyte of roaming data – 1 franc more than it previously charged. That equates to a 5.3% price increase. The larger 5-gigabyte bundle now costs 69.95 francs – also 1 franc more than it cost previously.

Cuba, Namibia and the Maldives now twice as expensive

In 46 other countries, the rate hikes are far more significant. Some of these countries – like Cuba, Namibia and the Maldives – are popular destinations for Swiss tourists. Many other countries like Swaziland, Syria and Zimbabwe are also affected by these rate hikes. The 100-megabyte data roaming bundle for these countries now costs 49.95 francs – 20 francs more than it did previously. That is a 66.8% increase.

Salt now offers a 500-megabyte bundle for 199.95 francs. Formerly, Salt had offered a 1024-megabyte bundle for the same price. That means the cost of data roaming with Salt in these countries has doubled because you get half of the data allowance for the same price.

Prices for many countries cut in half

On the other end of the scale, Salt slashed data roaming prices for many countries by half. Countries in this group include Albania, Australia, Brazil, Kosovo, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand. A 100-megabyte bundle now costs 14.95 francs. 400 megabytes costs 49.95 francs and 1 gigabyte costs 99.95 francs. Those prices are half as high as the prices previously charged for those bundles.

Call roaming up to 1048 percent more expensive

The new zone distribution also impacts Salt’s rates for call and SMS roaming in some countries. 38 countries have been removed from Salt’s Talk Rest of World roaming option which allows users to call for 40 centimes per minute in many countries.

Salt users who make roaming calls in the 38 countries which have been removed from the Talk Rest of World option are now charged the standard roaming rate of 2.99 francs per minute for incoming calls and 4.99 francs per minute for calls within the foreign country. That equates to unbelievable increases of 548 percent and 1048 percent respectively.

A positive development is that 14 countries have been added to the Talk Rest of World option. These include Vietnam, Kenya, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. Instead of paying the standard rates of 2.99 francs or 4.99 francs per minute, visitors to these countries can now use the Talk Rest of World option to make roaming calls for 40 centimes per minute.

Verdict by Ralf Beyeler from independent comparison service

Salt is certainly going against the grain by increasing roaming rates for European countries. Many Swiss telecom service providers lower their roaming prices ahead of the Summer vacation period. Salt has done just the opposite. Apparently, Salt has noticed that most phone users do not pay close attention to pricing, and that by raising roaming rates it can avoid leaving money on the table. The doubling of roaming prices for many countries is a particularly customer-unfriendly move. Tip: Buy a local SIM card in your destination country rather than using your Swiss service provider while abroad.

The major differences in pricing between different Swiss telecom service providers is worth noting. For example, Salt charges 400 francs for 1 gigabyte of data roaming in Belize, Guinea-Bissau or St. Lucia, while Swisscom charges less than 60 francs for the same service. That makes Salt 5 times more expensive than Swisscom for data roaming in these countries.

In 55 countries – including Australia, Brazil, Kosovo and South Africa – Salt charges around 100 francs for 1 gigabyte of roaming data. Swisscom charges less than 20 francs for the same service. On the flip side, there are 8 countries in which Salt, at 400 francs for 1 gigabyte of roaming data, is 25 times cheaper than Swisscom, which theoretically charges 10,000 francs for the same service.

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