The largest Swiss telecom service provider is lowering its data roaming rates by up to 50 percent. Telecom expert Ralf Beyeler from independent online comparison service moneyland.ch analyzed the new rates.
Notable price reductions for data roaming…
Some examples from the new fee schedule: 200 megabytes of data roaming within Europe will now cost 7.90 Swiss francs – 2 francs less than the same package cost previously. A 3-gigabyte package will cost 49.90 francs – 20 francs less than it did previously. Travelers to the United States, Brazil and Fiji pay 9.90 francs for a 200-megabyte package – 5 francs less than they paid previously. Data roaming packages for many countries, including Bolivia, Tunisia and Vietnam, will cost half of what they cost previously at 9.90 for a 50-megabyte package and 19.90 for a 200-megabyte package.
…but also radical price increases
“The price cuts are certainly remarkable” says Ralf Beyeler of independent comparison service moneyland.ch. But our analysis shows that there are also countries for which Swisscom has massively increased data roaming costs. Previously, 50 megabytes of data roaming in Namibia cost 29.90 francs. From March 19, Swisscom customers traveling in Namibia will pay an unbelievable 499.50 francs for that amount of data. That is a rate increase of 1571 percent.
Room for improvement on the data-roaming front
In spite of the rate reductions, Swisscom’s roaming services still have a lot of potential for improvement. Telecom expert Ralf Beyeler recommends:
1. Doing away with the 30-day data roaming package validity period. SimplyMobile, a Swisscom brand, has already shown that there is no need to place an expiry date on data roaming packages. Customers do not understand why they should buy expensive data roaming packages which expire within such a short time-frame.
2. Lowering default roaming prices. The standard roaming rates from Swisscom will remain largely unchanged. The difference between default roaming rates and roaming package rates are huge. Customers roaming within Europe at Swisscom’s default rates pay 2670 percent more than customers who buy data roaming packages. The differences in other countries are also major. Default rates for the United States and Canada 2399 percent higher than package rates. The difference is 912 percent for Bolivia, Tunisia and Vietnam, and 298 percent for Burkina Faso, Lebanon and Togo, for example.