Telecom News

Sunrise Raises Its Roaming Rates

March 13, 2019 - Ralf Beyeler

Sunrise has raised its standard mobile roaming rates by up to 116%. Mobile roaming at standard rates in some countries now costs more than double what it cost previously.

Sunrise has drastically raised its standard rates for mobile roaming. Standard mobile roaming rates are the rates paid for roaming when no roaming bundles, mobile plan roaming allowances or roaming options are used. They apply to travelers who do not make use special roaming offers when traveling outside of Switzerland.

Roaming in Europe, the United States and Canada now costs up to 40 percent more

The standard rate for outgoing calls while roaming in almost all European countries, in the United States, in Canada, and in a number of other countries has increased from 1.30 Swiss francs per minute (or portion thereof) to 1.75 francs per minute. That is a 35-percent price increase. Incoming calls now cost 1 franc per minute (or portion of a minute) – up from the previous 80 centimes. That is a 25-percent price increase. Sending SMS messages while abroad is also more expensive: Sunrise now charges 60 centimes per roaming SMS instead of the previous 50 centimes – a 20-percent increase.

Roaming in Australia, Albania and other countries now up to 81 percent more expensive

Call roaming in countries which fall under the Sunrise Region 2 category – including Australia, Albania, Macedonia and Thailand – now costs up to 81 percent more than it has until now.

In hard figures, the costs of making roaming calls to numbers in the same country now costs 2.90 francs per minute (or portion thereof), up from the previous 1.60 francs. That is an 81-percent price increase. Sending roaming SMS messages from Region 2 countries now costs 70 centimes per SMS, up from the previous 50 centimes – a 40-percent price increase. Per-minute prices for incoming calls and for roaming calls to Switzerland from abroad have remained unchanged.

Roaming in Argentina, Cuba, Ukraine and other countries up to 116 percent more expensive

The cost of phone calls to countries in the Region 3 category – which includes Argentina, Cuba, Ukraine and South Korea, among others – has gone up by up to 116 percent.

Roaming calls to numbers within the same country now cost more than double what they did previously. Sunrise customers now pay 4.75 francs per minute (or portion of a minute) instead of the previous 2.20 francs. The cost of sending an SMS while roaming in a Region 3 country has been increased from 50 centimes to 80 centimes – a price increase of 60 percent.

The standard rates for data roaming – using the Internet via Sunrise while in these countries – remain unchanged.

Price comparison with Swisscom and Salt

A comparison of Sunrise’s standard rates for roaming in Europe with those of Swisscom and Salt shows clear price differences. At 45 centimes per minute or portion thereof with almost all plans, Swisscom has the lowest rate for calls from European Union (EU) member countries to Switzerland and roaming calls within an EU country. Sunrise is nearly 4 times more expensive, at 1.75 francs per minute or portion of a minute. Salt is even more expensive, charging 1.99 francs per minute or portion thereof for roaming calls in most EU countries. Salt uses a lower rate of 1.79 francs per minute for call roaming in Germany, France, Italy and some other countries.

At 27 centimes per minute (or portion of a minute) with almost all of its plans, Swisscom also has the lowest rate for accepting incoming calls while roaming in EU member countries. It is followed by Salt which charges 79 centimes per minute, and finally by Sunrise which charges 1 franc per minute.

Conclusion by telecom expert Ralf Beyeler

Sunrise’s roaming rate hike may come as a surprise to some. The marketing signals put out to consumers by telecom service providers have consistently indicated that Swiss telecom companies are steadily lowering their roaming charges.

But the exact opposite is true in the case of Sunrise: It has raised its charges for roaming calls and SMS messaging. The fact that Sunrise is raising its standard roaming rates is of particular concern because these are the default rates charged to all travelers who do not specifically go out of their way to purchase roaming bundles, options, or mobile plans which include roaming allowances.

The fact is, the standard roaming rates for Europe which are now being employed by Sunrise are its highest since 2003. Between 2002 and the spring of 2015, Sunrise charged 1.70 francs per minute for call roaming in Europe. From the spring of 2015 until now, it has charged 1.30 francs per minute. Now, it is charging 1.75 francs per minute.

But this is not the first time that a Swiss telecom service provider has raised its standard roaming fees. Salt radically hiked its standard roaming rates 2 years ago.

The advice from telecom expert Beyeler: “Failing to buy a roaming option or bundle before traveling abroad can hit your wallet hard. Always take the time to find the right roaming solution before going on vacation. The roaming calculator on makes that easy to do. In a few clicks, you can get clear information on which roaming solution is cheapest for your needs and travel destination.”

A viable alternative to adding roaming options to existing Sunrise plans is migrating to a Sunrise plan which includes roaming allowances ahead of traveling abroad, and then moving back to your previous plan after returning to Switzerland.

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