Telecom News

Swiss Internet Plans: Huge Price Differences Between Providers

August 27, 2019 - Ralf Beyeler

Independent online comparison service studied the costs of Swiss internet plans. The results show that prices vary significantly between telecom service providers.

Swiss Internet plans are offered by numerous telecom service providers in addition to Switzerland’s three largest telecom companies Swisscom, UPC and Sunrise. The sheer variety of plans with their many different tariffs and offers poses a challenge for consumers. In order to find out which providers offer the cheapest plans, telecom expert Ralf Beyeler analyzed relevant Swiss Internet plans using the interactive Internet plan comparison on

For the price analysis, Beyeler used the total costs for the first subscription year, based on three different Internet profiles: slow Internet (minimum 10 Mbps); fast Internet (minimum 100 Mbps) and high-speed Internet (minimum 1000 Mbps). Many telecom service providers offer several different plans – some of which come in different versions. When this is the case, the optimal plan or version for the Internet profile was used for the analysis. Time-limited special offers were not accounted for in the analysis, but they are shown in the interactive Internet plan comparison.

The results of the study show huge differences in pricing for similar Internet services. “In some cases, the most expensive offers cost twice as much as the most affordable offers,” states telecom expert Ralf Beyeler. Comparing offers can save you money. “The practical Internet plan comparison on lets consumers find the best offer for their needs without getting lost in the pricing jungle,” says Beyeler.

Slow Swiss Internet plans compared

Swiss Internet plans with a data transfer speed of between 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps were included in the slow Internet plan analysis. Slow Internet plans let users surf the world wide web, shop online, make payments online and even stream videos.

Price differences between service providers are major. The most expensive service provider charges more than twice as much as the most affordable provider. However, some of the more expensive plans also deliver significantly faster Internet. Speeds must be taken into account because many providers no longer offer plans with very slow Internet connectivity.

The most affordable plan for slow Internet is offered by iWay and costs a total of 398 francs for the first year. The plan is available at this price in some Swiss cities like Zurich, Bern, Winterthur, Luzern and St. Gallen. In some cities and towns, the iWay plan is only available at a marked-up price. “Even in Basel, Switzerland’s third-largest city, users pay 458 francs for the first year instead of the 398 francs per year charged for the plan in Zurich. That means user in Basel pay around 15% more,” concludes Ralf Beyeler.

iWay is followed by Monzoon (408 francs for the first year), GGA Maur (428 francs – but only available in some cities), and Teleboy (432 francs).

Internet plans from the market leaders are notably more expensive. A slow Internet plan from Sunrise costs 600 francs for the first year – 51 percent more than the most affordable plan. Swisscom’s slow Internet plan costs 658 francs per year – 65 percent more expensive than the cheapest plan. It is also worth noting that Swisscom does not even list its most affordable plan on its website. Swisscom representatives often do not even make customers aware of the more affordable offer and promote the Internet S plan for 839 francs for the first year instead. UPC is very expensive at 807 francs for the first year, as is Quickline with up to 857.80 francs per year and the heavily advertised Swisscom budget brand Wingo at 850 francs (no optical fiber connection) or 898 francs (optical fiber connection) for the first year.

 “It is surprising that the big telecom providers are so much more expensive than the most affordable providers. It is possible that there are consumers who are willing to pay very high prices for very slow Internet. But more likely, many consumers simply are not aware that more affordable options exist. A Swisscom user, for example, could easily save more than 400 francs per year by migrating to a different plan,” states Ralf Beyeler.

Fast Swiss Internet plans compared

Swiss Internet plans with data transfer speeds of 100 Mbps or more let users perform most online tasks at comfortable speeds. Fast Internet plans also allow multiple users to access the Internet simultaneously and perform relatively demanding tasks such as streaming video in high definition.

Important note: In many cases, the actual physical connection from your home to the telecom network is not capable of delivering the full transfer speeds advertised in Internet plans. The comprehensive Internet plan comparison clearly shows the fastest Internet speeds available to you based on your address.

The results of the analysis show that the most affordable fast Internet plan costs 578 francs for the first year. The most expensive service provider charges 1097.80 francs for a fast Internet plan – almost 90 percent more.

Solnet is the most affordable at 578 francs for the first year. It is followed by Monzoon (624 francs), and iWay (both 638 francs).

For fast Internet too, the big telecom service providers are relatively expensive. Salt charges 699.35 francs for the first year, but Salt’s Internet plan delivers ultra-high-speed Internet with up to 10 Gbps. Sunrise charges 840 francs – around 45 percent more than the most affordable service provider. Swisscom charges more than 1000 francs (1019 francs) for the first year, UPC charges 1047 francs and Quickline charges 1097.80 francs.

High-speed Swiss Internet plans compared

Swiss Internet plans with data transfer speeds of 1 Gbps or faster let you perform any task online with almost no limitations. This is true even when many different devices access the Internet through the same connection. Currently, there are few Internet users who actually make full use of the potential delivered by high-speed Internet connections.

At this stage, high-speed Internet is only available to users who have access to optical fiber connections. Salt has the most affordable high-speed Internet plan, with a cost of 699.35 francs for the first year. The most expensive plan is offered by Netstream and costs 1668 francs. That is 968.65 francs more expensive than the cheapest plan – a 139 percent difference.

The most affordable high-speed Internet plans are offered by Salt (699.35 francs for the first year), and Solnet (both 758 francs). Major telecom service providers Swisscom (1139 francs for the first year) and Sunrise (1260 francs) are significantly more expensive. UPC and Quickline do not currently offer high-speed Internet plans.

Big telecom service providers are generally expensive

The Swiss telecom market is dominated by the three biggest Swiss telecom service providers Swisscom, UPC and Sunrise. Together, these three companies share 81.4 percent of the Swiss telecom market. 51.4 percent of Swiss telecom users are Swisscom customers, 19.3 percent are UPC customers, and 10.7 percent are Sunrise customers. Unfortunately, it isn’t only these service providers’ market shares that are high. Their prices are high too. Swisscom customers pay between 62.9 and 76.3 percent more (depending on the Internet profile) than customers of the most affordable providers. UPC customers pay between 81.1 and 102.8 percent more. Sunrise customers pay between 45.3 and 80.2 percent more.

“The prices which customers of the three biggest telecom providers pay are shocking. The high prices charged by Swisscom and UPC are even more shocking when you consider that two out of three Swiss Internet users have a plan from Swisscom or UPC,” states telecom expert Ralf Beyeler.

UPC more expensive than Swisscom

The study shows that UPC charges even more for fast Internet than Swisscom. For slow Internet, on the other hand, UPC is charges around 30 francs less than Swisscom. UPC is not included in the high-speed Internet analysis because – in spite of owning its own telecom network – Switzerland’s second largest Internet service provider does not yet offer a connection with 1Gbps or more.

Location-based limitations on Internet plan subscriptions

Many Internet plans can only be accessed in some locations. Internet users should pay attention to two key points when choosing a plan. Firstly, you can only use plans from providers which service your location which match your available telecom connections. Secondly, you should understand the actual Internet speed which applies to your available connections.

Many offers from many telecom service providers are only available in specific regions. Some providers – and iWay in particular – offer different plans in different locations.

Users whose home is only connected to a copper telephone line and not an optical fiber cable will generally not be able to access the full potential Internet speeds available with plans.

This also affects locations which are serviced by Swisscom’s alternative optical fiber technology. “The mention of alternative optical fiber technology by Swisscom should set off alarm bells,” warns Ralf Beyeler. These connections use old copper phone lines, but the length of cable between end connections and data viaducts is reduced in order to increase data transfer speeds. “Internet users with so-called alternative optical fiber connections can count themselves lucky if their connections attain speeds of 100 Mbps. Even in bigger cities, speeds of 20 Mbps are common,” states Beyeler.

The problem is that in many regions, Swisscom’s telephone line network is the only available network – with the exception of local cable networks. All Internet providers must use the available physical telecom networks. Cable network operators like UPC have a clear advantage in these regions. While Swisscom’s copper phone line network only allows for low-speed Internet, UPC and Quickline customers in these regions can use fast Internet plans through their cable service providers.

Comparing can save you money

Comparing the costs and services of your current Internet plan with other available offers is key to getting the best deal. The comprehensive and interactive Internet plan comparison on lets you compare Internet plans based on your exact address. It also lets you compare bundled Internet, TV and landline plans.

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