Swisscom’s budget mobile service Wingo has just introduced its Voice Travel call roaming option. Wingo users can add this option to their plans in order to benefit from lower rates when making roaming calls while outside of Switzerland.
The Voice Travel option from Wingo costs 15 Swiss francs and is valid for 30 days. It can be used for call roaming anywhere in the world. The basic price includes 30 call roaming minutes and 30 roaming SMS messages. After the included call minutes have been used, user pay either 25 centimes, 50 centimes or 1 franc per additional minute – depending on the country.
The call roaming rates of the Voice Travel option from Wingo are identical to those of the roaming option offered by Swisscom and its M-Budget brand. However, there are still differences in the data roaming conditions. In order for Wingo customers to benefit from the lower roaming rates, they must activate the roaming option ahead of traveling abroad. The option remains valid for 30 days from the date of activation.
Verdict by moneyland.ch telecom expert Ralf Beyeler
Swisscom has finally decided to stop penalizing customers who opt for plans from its budget Wingo brand – at least customers who use roaming in Europe and the United States. This reaction by Swisscom to criticism by moneyland.ch and the Tages-Anzeiger is welcome.
Calculations by moneyland.ch in July 2018 showed that Wingo customers paid up to 282 percent more for roaming than Swisscom customers. moneyland.ch also performed an analysis using a generic user profile with roaming use of 1000 megabytes of roaming data and 120 minutes of call roaming over a 14-day period. You can find the basis for calculations here.
When the generic profile was applied to mobile roaming in Spain, results showed that a Swisscom customer would pay 64.90 francs. A Wingo plan holder, on the other hand, would pay 95 francs or 46% more than the Swisscom plan user. Now the same Wingo customer using the new option would pay just 65 francs – almost the same amount as the Swisscom user.
There are still differences in roaming rates for different countries. For example, a Wingo user matching the generic profile would spend 15 francs less on call roaming in the United States than a Swisscom user. Wingo customers pay significantly more than Swisscom customers for roaming in most other countries. The reason for this is that Wingo customers pay more than Swisscom customers for data roaming bundles – with the exception of bundles for the United States and most European countries.
But while Wingo’s rates for roaming in other countries may be higher than those of Swisscom, the reductions from previous levels are huge. In South Africa and Thailand, for example, Wingo roaming users matching the generic profile would now pay 210 francs instead of the 630 francs charged previously by using the new option. That equates a 67% price reduction. The same user roaming in Vietnam would now pay 410 francs instead of the previous 830 francs. Sadly, Wingo customers matching the generic profile pay 27% more than Swisscom customers for roaming in South Africa or Thailand, and 91% more for roaming in Vietnam.
Important: Like almost all other mobile service providers, Wingo only charges the lower roaming rates when customers order the relevant option before their trip. Customers who do not activate the roaming option pay high standard rates. Thankfully, customers returning from trips abroad do not have to deactivate the option. It simply expires at the end of the 30-day term and is not automatically renewed.
Why Swisscom chose to introduce a roaming option for its Wingo brand but not for its Simplymobile brand is difficult to understand. Simplymobile is currently the only Swisscom service which does not offer roaming options.
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