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Swisscom Removes Expiry Dates for Data Roaming Bundles

May 31, 2021 - Ralf Beyeler

Swisscom is updating the terms and conditions of its data roaming bundles in keeping with changes in legal regulations. Swisscom is the first Swiss mobile service provider to publish information about the new roaming terms and conditions which will apply from July 1, 2021. Telecom expert Ralf Beyeler from independent online comparison service analyzes the new offers in this report.

Although the general public likely does not realize it, a number of laws and regulations governing telecom services are in the process of being implemented. From July 1, 2021, new and more customer-friendly rules will apply.

The biggest change is that mobile service providers can no longer sell data roaming bundles which expire after 30 days. Data roaming bundles will now have to valid for a minimum of one year. Today Swisscom published information about the new terms and conditions for roaming on its website – making it the first Swiss mobile plan provider to inform its customers of the changes.

The smallest data bundles are being phased out

The most notable change with regards to data bundles is that Swisscom’s smallest roaming bundles are disappearing.

These bundles will not be offered by Swisscom in the future:

  • 200 MB in Europe for 4.90 francs.
  • 200 MB in countries like the US and Canada for 6.90 francs.
  • 50 MB in countries like Tunisia for 6.90 francs.

The cost of getting online in Europe

Swisscom will continue to offer three data roaming bundles which can be used in most European countries.

  • 1 GB for 14.90 francs
  • 3 GB for 39.90 francs
  • 10 GB for 89.90 francs

These bundles will now only expire after 12 months, in keeping with the new regulations.

Bundles for data roaming in countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia, cost 19.90 francs for 1 gigabyte, 49.90 francs for 3 gigabytes, and 99.90 francs for 10 gigabytes. “Even though Balkan countries are in the middle of Europe and many people of Balkan origin reside in Switzerland, mobile roaming in these countries continues to cost more than roaming in most other European countries. This is also true for Swisscom customers,” says telecom expert Ralf Beyeler.

The cost of data roaming outside of Europe

Swisscom divides the world into a number of roaming zones. Aside from Europe, the most affordable zone is World 1. This zone includes popular travel destinations like Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. Travelers to World 1 countries can choose between these bundles:

  • 1 GB for 19.90 francs
  • 3 GB for 49.90 francs
  • 10 GB for 99.90 francs (The price of this bundle is increasing by 20 francs. This bundle is now available to all Swisscom mobile users.)

The World 2 zone includes countries like Costa Rica, Tunisia, and Vietnam. Bundles cost 14.90 francs for 200 megabytes, and 59.90 francs for 1 gigabyte. Larger bundles are not available for this zone.  

Ralf Beyeler: “Fortunately no major price increases”

There was initially a worry that the new regulations would result in higher prices for data roaming. “Fortunately, Swisscom has made almost no changes to its data roaming pricing. Swisscom has only raised the price of one of its bundles,” notes telecom expert Ralf Beyeler from independent online comparison service Beyeler hopes that this decision not to raise data roaming prices by Swisscom – as Switzerland’s biggest telecom company – will set a trend which its competitors will follow.

No more high standard rates for data roaming

Another change is that mobile users will only be able to connect to the Internet via Swisscom while roaming if their mobile plan includes a roaming allowance, or if they purchase a data roaming bundle. This means there is no longer a risk of being charge high standard roaming rates.

New bundles for phone calls and SMS messaging

Data roaming is not the only service which is being updated. Roaming options for phoning and SMS messaging are also being updated. The previous options will no longer be offered. Swisscom now offers four different call roaming bundles. All bundles include 60 minutes of call time. The bundle for call roaming within most European countries costs 15.90 francs. Bundles for call roaming outside of Europe cost 29.90 francs, 49.90 francs, and 59.90 francs. That means the price per minute ranges between 26.5 centimes and just under 1 franc. These bundles also only expire after 12 months.

Because of the new regulations, Swisscom will only use per-second billing from July 2021 – with the exception of short calls under 30 seconds. Depending on individual call habits, Swisscom customer may benefit significantly from this change. Up until now, Swisscom and all other Swiss telecom service providers charged for each new minute even when only a fraction of a minute was used. In other words, customers who made a 61-second call paid for 120 seconds.

Swisscom offers an SMS/MMS bundle with 100 SMS messages which is valid worldwide for 9.90 francs. This bundle is also valid for 12 months.

Verdict by telecom expert Ralf Beyeler

“Swisscom’s updated terms and conditions for roaming fulfill the minimum requirements set out in the updated law,” observes telecom expert Ralf Beyeler. “It is unfortunate that Swisscom did not have the courage to introduce even more customer-friendly solutions than those required by the law. Swisscom is missing an ideal opportunity, adds Beyeler.

Beyeler also believes that “The move by lawmakers to forbid the sale of bundles with short 30-day expiry days is a positive one. The short expiry periods were always a point of puzzlement for mobile users, and only served to enrich telecom companies.”

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