Over the summer months (June 1 to September 30, 2018), Sunrise is offering a summer roaming deal. Sunrise advertises unlimited data roaming outside of Switzerland to its Freedom Swiss Neighbors and Freedom Europe&US mobile plan subscribers. This promotion also applies to the youth and business varieties of both mobile plans.
By reading the fine print, however, it becomes clear that subscribers do not receive unlimited data roaming. Instead of the usual 4 gigabytes of roaming data per month which comes standard with the plans, subscribers receive 40 gigabytes of roaming data per month over the summer months at no extra charge. Both existing and new subscribers can take advantage of the offer. Subscribers do not need to take any special action to activate the offer, as the higher data allowance is applied automatically.
Special offer limited to European and North American countries
The Swiss Freedom Neighbors plan provides subscribers with call and data roaming in Germany, Austria, Italy and France at a flat fee of 95 Swiss francs per month. The more expensive Freedom Europe&US plan includes call and data roaming in European Union member countries and some other European countries (like Norway), in the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska), in Puerto Rico and in Canada. The flat fee for this package is relatively high at 130 francs per month. Both plans include unlimited call roaming in these countries.
Verdict by moneyland.ch telecom expert Ralf Beyeler
It is sad that Sunrise advertises this offer as providing unlimited data when it effectively delivers 40 gigabytes of roaming data. After using up the 40-gigabyte allowance, users are left with a throttled connection which, at 128 Kbps, is completely useless.
The summer roaming offer is primarily a marketing ploy, as only a relatively small portion of subscribers will actually use the full 40-gigabyte data allowance. But in spite of that, the clear verdict by telecom expert Ralf Beyeler is that “The summer deals from Sunrise are the best roaming deals for heavy data users to be offered by a Swiss mobile service provider to date.”
40 gigabytes is a substantial monthly data allowance. Even heavy Internet users – by Swiss standards – can benefit from seemingly limitless data roaming. The high data allowance will likely lead many subscribers to use streaming services like Netflix or Spotify while roaming with a foreign mobile network.
The offers place pressure on Sunrise competitors Swisscom and Salt. Both Swisscom and Salt recently increased the roaming data for Europe included in their mobile plans after Sunrise broke new ground by increasing its data allowances.
A benefit of the Sunrise offer is that Freedom plan subscribers can choose to include roaming in their mobile plans for the duration of their travels only. After returning to Switzerland, subscribers can switch back to a plan which does not include roaming allowances. That is an advantage over Swisscom and Salt, which do not provide as much flexibility in moving between plans without paying a penalty fee.
The current 40-gigabyte deal also indicates how wide the profit margin enjoyed by telecom providers actually is. Apparently, Sunrise can afford to offer its customers 10 times the standard monthly data roaming allowance. Even taking the fact that many customers will not take advantage of the data allowance into account, it is clear that there is plenty of room for price reductions in the data roaming space.