The Freedom plans from mobile service provider Sunrise have been on the market since 2014. Now Sunrise has made a number of revisions to these plans.
New standard rates for data roaming
There is a lot happening in the Swiss roaming market at the moment. Swisscom recently announced reductions in data roaming rates. At Sunrise too, the most significant revisions being undertaken are directly related to data roaming, with a new standard roaming rate being implemented for countries in Europe, the United States and Canada. Sunrise now charges 1.90 Swiss francs per day for data roaming, with 100 megabytes of data included in that price. The new standard rate applies to all new Freedom plans – but all Sunrise plan users can change to the new rate upon request.
Roaming data is blocked once the data quota is reached, but customers can purchase another 24-hour, 100-megabyte package for another 1.90 francs if they so choose. Sunrise previously charged standard rates of 1 franc per megabyte for data roaming in the United States, Canada and most European countries.
Answering service issue resolved
An important change affects fees charged for rerouting calls made to Sunrise customers traveling abroad to the Sunrise answering service. Up until now Sunrise – like its competitors – has charged fees when callers left messages on its answering service while recipients were traveling abroad. Now Sunrise no longer charges for incoming calls to the answering service. Customers still pay fees to call up the answering service to listen to their messages.
Promotional offers with 24-month contracts
Sunrise now uses 24-month contracts for occasional special offers. Customers who terminate these contracts ahead of schedule must pay all fees outstanding for the remainder of the contract term. As before, most standard Sunrise contracts are offered with no minimum contract term.
Changes to data roaming packages
Sunrise now offers a single roaming package covering most European countries, the United States and Canada. The package – which is valid for 1 month and includes 2 gigabytes of data roaming – costs 29 francs.
Data roaming rates for countries outside of Europe have not been revised, but Sunrise has added data roaming packages for another 30 countries to its roaming offers. Packages are now available for countries like Viet Nam, New Zealand, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Seychelles. Sunrise also shifted 15 countries to new roaming zones and by doing so, reduced the costs of data roaming in those countries.
Changes to specific mobile plans
The following changes apply to specific mobile plans:
- The cheapest Freedom plan is now called Sunrise Freedom Swiss Start and costs 25 francs per month. This plan replaces the Sunrise Freedom Start plan and costs 5 francs less per month. Sunrise customers continue to receive 500 megabytes of local data and can still make unlimited calls to other Sunrise phone numbers. A new feature lets customers select three out-of-network phone numbers to which they can make unlimited calls at no extra charge.
- The second-cheapest Freedom plan is now called Sunrise Freedom Swiss Calls and costs 45 francs per month. This plan replaces the Freedom Classic plan and costs 5 francs less than its predecessor. Customers receive 2 gigabytes of local data – twice as much as the previous plan provided. Customers can still make calls to numbers on all Swiss phone networks at no extra charge.
- The mid-range Freedom plan is now called Sunrise Freedom Swiss Unlimited. It replaces the Sunrise Freedom Relax and Sunrise Mobile Unlimited plans. The price remains unchanged at 65 francs per month as a stand-alone plan or 55 francs per month as part of a Sunrise One bundle. Customers continue to receive unlimited data and unlimited phone calls to numbers on all Swiss phone networks at no extra charge.
- The second most expensive plan is now called Sunrise Freedom Swiss Neighbors. It costs 95 francs per month. This is an entirely new plan. It offers unlimited data in Switzerland and unlimited phone calls to numbers in all Swiss phone networks, while also letting users make unlimited phone calls to phone numbers on all networks in countries bordering Switzerland and make calls to Switzerland from neighboring countries at no extra charge. Users also receive 4 gigabytes of roaming data for use in neighboring countries.
- The most expensive Freedom plan is now called the Sunrise Freedom Europe & US plan. This plan costs 130 francs per month. It is similar to the identically-priced Sunrise Freedom Super Max plan which it replaces. Customers receive all-inclusive unlimited data in Switzerland and unlimited phone calls to numbers on all Swiss phone networks. It also provides unlimited phone calls to all phone networks in 46 other countries. Users can also make roaming phone calls at no extra charge while traveling in these countries. The previous plan only included calls to numbers in 17 countries. The plan includes 4 gigabytes of data roaming which can be used in the United States, Canada and most European countries.
New youth plans
Sunrise has also revised its youth plans for customers below 30 years old. The youth plans are now marketed under the Sunrise Young title, replacing the former MTV Mobile branding. The offers are similar to the new Freedom plans for adults, but the youth plans are more affordable in some cases. The cheaper plans include more data. Young Sunrise customers can also purchase a half-fare card from the SBB/CFF and can use the tidal music streaming service in Hi-Fi quality for six months on a complimentary basis.
Verdict by telecom expert Ralf Beyeler
Sunrise’s new standard rate for data roaming is attractive, and sets new standards in the Swiss roaming market – at least insofar as roaming in European countries, the United States and Canada is concerned.
Even using mobile internet daily throughout a 14-day vacation in other European countries would set you back “only” 26.60 francs. In many cases, using the standard roaming rate from Sunrise can work out cheaper than buying a data roaming package – although packages are still the more affordable option in some cases.
The new standard rates also benefit customers in that they provide a clear roaming regimen for countries outside of Europe. Data roaming in countries outside of the standard-rate area is blocked by default. Sunrise customers can only use mobile data in these countries if they purchase a data roaming package.
“Unfortunately, the new standard rates are only being automatically applied to Freedom plan users,” criticizes Ralf Beyeler. However, all other Sunrise customers have the option of contacting Sunrise and requesting a switch to the new standard rates.
It is also a pity that there are still more than 70 countries outside of Europe for which no data roaming packages are offered. These countries include Madagascar, Namibia, Bolivia and Cuba, among others. The fees charged for data roaming in these countries are still ridiculously high at 15.60 francs per megabyte.
Vietnam provides a good example of just how major the differences in roaming costs can be. Up until now, Sunrise did not offer a data-roaming package for Vietnam. 500 megabytes of data roaming in Vietnam at the previous listed price cost an astronomical 7800 francs. Now Sunrise offers a 500-megabyte data roaming package for Vietnam for 39 francs.
“The new Freedom plans are generally solid,” says Ralf Beyeler. However, there are already more affordable plans from Sunrise which are sold under its budget brands like Yallo. The Sunrise offers are also somewhat expensive compared to offers from its competitors.