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internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)

Hello, I am wondering what options other expats from the US/non-European countries have done for internet and mobile phone service when moving to Switzerland?


I would like to keep it simple, but do want to be able to have home internet that can support streaming services, and a mobile plan with text/talk to US-based numbers.


Any insight on the most convenient and affordable options people have found would be appreciated. (Thank you!)

The text you are quoting:

Hello, I am wondering what options other expats from the US/non-European countries have done for internet and mobile phone service when moving to Switzerland?


I would like to keep it simple, but do want to be able to have home internet that can support streaming services, and a mobile plan with text/talk to US-based numbers.


Any insight on the most convenient and affordable options people have found would be appreciated. (Thank you!)


Molly BiehlJan 8, 2020 @ 05:10
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 1

Hi Molly,


I hope someone here will have some good advice for you, but if not, just check the websites of the main providers here (Salt, Swisscom, Sunrise) to see what they offer in terms of plans that include US numbers.


Good luck,


Oded

The text you are quoting:

Hi Molly,


I hope someone here will have some good advice for you, but if not, just check the websites of the main providers here (Salt, Swisscom, Sunrise) to see what they offer in terms of plans that include US numbers.


Good luck,


Oded


SiteAdmin Oded, Jan 8, 2020 @ 12:05
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 2

Hi Molly,


I'm an Expat from the US. I got the Google Fi phone plan that you pay by the amount of data you use. I specifically went with this plan becuase you can use it in more than 100 countries. So whenever I travel to other countries (or back home to the US) I don't need to change my phone plan or worry about getting international charges.


Hope this helps!


Courtney

The text you are quoting:

Hi Molly,


I'm an Expat from the US. I got the Google Fi phone plan that you pay by the amount of data you use. I specifically went with this plan becuase you can use it in more than 100 countries. So whenever I travel to other countries (or back home to the US) I don't need to change my phone plan or worry about getting international charges.


Hope this helps!


Courtney


Courtney Tardif, Jan 8, 2020 @ 14:45
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 3

Hi there,


I've tried all three of the main players, and they are all pretty bad :-(


- price - too high, esp. for roaming in EU, expensive sim cards


- customer service - usually dismal after the sale has been made


- reception usually pretty average, except for Swisscom


I would say try to avoid any kind of lock in plan. If you have your own phone try for a prepaid first to see how it goes, if you stay on a prepaid long enough there are incentives to upgrade to a plan. At that point you will better understand the service quality.


Be warned, there is no consumer protection body in Switzerland, and there are usually hidden condition in the contracts (eg: 3 month cancellation notice period in a 12 month contract).


The French plans are really cheap and good quality ... but they don't roam in Switzerland. There are also some other smaller companies (yello, migros), but I think they all run off the Swisscom backbone.

The text you are quoting:

Hi there,


I've tried all three of the main players, and they are all pretty bad :-(


- price - too high, esp. for roaming in EU, expensive sim cards


- customer service - usually dismal after the sale has been made


- reception usually pretty average, except for Swisscom


I would say try to avoid any kind of lock in plan. If you have your own phone try for a prepaid first to see how it goes, if you stay on a prepaid long enough there are incentives to upgrade to a plan. At that point you will better understand the service quality.


Be warned, there is no consumer protection body in Switzerland, and there are usually hidden condition in the contracts (eg: 3 month cancellation notice period in a 12 month contract).


The French plans are really cheap and good quality ... but they don't roam in Switzerland. There are also some other smaller companies (yello, migros), but I think they all run off the Swisscom backbone.


Sean C, Jan 9, 2020 @ 15:53
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 4

Hi there,

I've tried all three of the main players, and they are all pretty bad :-(

- price - too high, esp. for roaming in EU, expensive sim cards

- customer service - usually dismal after the sale has been made

- reception usually pretty average, except for Swisscom

I would say try to avoid any kind of lock in plan. If you have your own phone try for a prepaid first to see how it goes, if you stay on a prepaid long enough there are incentives to upgrade to a plan. At that point you will better understand the service quality.

Be warned, there is no consumer protection body in Switzerland, and there are usually hidden condition in the contracts (eg: 3 month cancellation notice period in a 12 month contract).

The French plans are really cheap and good quality ... but they don't roam in Switzerland. There are also some other smaller companies (yello, migros), but I think they all run off the Swisscom backbone.


Jan 9, 20 15:53

I would agree on French plans being cheap and good value and quality (as we roam in Switzerland, signal power is even better than with a Swiss plan, as all 3 Swiss players' antennas join forces!)


I don't agree with the idea that French plans don't roam in Switzerland. I currently use a 5 EUR/month Sosh plan, which has very limited data and phone time. All of my credit is used in Switzerland the same way it would be in France. No additional fee for calling or surfing from Switzerland. On my plan, calling to Switzerland is even better from Switzerland than for France (because calling from France would *not* trigger roaming thus would be charged off the included time package).


By the way, the top offer from Sosh has 50 GB data included and unlimited phone calls to the US (it seems this works for calls initiated from a French network, not sure it would do from a Swiss network) for less than 25 EUR ;o)


Anyone interested, I can send an invitation/referral code by E-mail for your 1st month free ;o)

The text you are quoting:

I would agree on French plans being cheap and good value and quality (as we roam in Switzerland, signal power is even better than with a Swiss plan, as all 3 Swiss players' antennas join forces!)


I don't agree with the idea that French plans don't roam in Switzerland. I currently use a 5 EUR/month Sosh plan, which has very limited data and phone time. All of my credit is used in Switzerland the same way it would be in France. No additional fee for calling or surfing from Switzerland. On my plan, calling to Switzerland is even better from Switzerland than for France (because calling from France would *not* trigger roaming thus would be charged off the included time package).


By the way, the top offer from Sosh has 50 GB data included and unlimited phone calls to the US (it seems this works for calls initiated from a French network, not sure it would do from a Swiss network) for less than 25 EUR ;o)


Anyone interested, I can send an invitation/referral code by E-mail for your 1st month free ;o)


David L, Jan 9, 2020 @ 18:15
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 5

I would agree on French plans being cheap and good value and quality (as we roam in Switzerland, signal power is even better than with a Swiss plan, as all 3 Swiss players' antennas join forces!)

I don't agree with the idea that French plans don't roam in Switzerland. I currently use a 5 EUR/month Sosh plan, which has very limited data and phone time. All of my credit is used in Switzerland the same way it would be in France. No additional fee for calling or surfing from Switzerland. On my plan, calling to Switzerland is even better from Switzerland than for France (because calling from France would *not* trigger roaming thus would be charged off the included time package).

By the way, the top offer from Sosh has 50 GB data included and unlimited phone calls to the US (it seems this works for calls initiated from a French network, not sure it would do from a Swiss network) for less than 25 EUR ;o)

Anyone interested, I can send an invitation/referral code by E-mail for your 1st month free ;o)


Jan 9, 20 18:15

But I guess that in order to enroll that Sosh plan one needs a French phone number and to live (or pretend to live) in France, am I wrong? Thanks

The text you are quoting:

But I guess that in order to enroll that Sosh plan one needs a French phone number and to live (or pretend to live) in France, am I wrong? Thanks


ajimenezp, Jan 9, 2020 @ 19:54
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 6

"The French plans are really cheap and good quality ... but they don't roam in Switzerland."


Some do, some do not, depending on the provider and the plan (forfait) chosen.


Sosh certainly does roam in Switzerland, as does the SFR on their 15€ per month rolling contract. Quality wise, however, Sosh is better, as they use the Orange network in France and roam on the best ones in other countries. 


Out of the Swiss providers, Swisscom has by far the best coverage/service quality, yet they are also the most expensive of the lot.


 

The text you are quoting:

"The French plans are really cheap and good quality ... but they don't roam in Switzerland."


Some do, some do not, depending on the provider and the plan (forfait) chosen.


Sosh certainly does roam in Switzerland, as does the SFR on their 15€ per month rolling contract. Quality wise, however, Sosh is better, as they use the Orange network in France and roam on the best ones in other countries. 


Out of the Swiss providers, Swisscom has by far the best coverage/service quality, yet they are also the most expensive of the lot.


 


Slava Sviridovs, Jan 10, 2020 @ 09:56
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 7

I'm on Sosh France - Same as David. I pay 11 euros. But whenever someone from Switzerland calls me they often inquire as to why I have a French number. 


 


I've been suggested to use Sunrise too. 

The text you are quoting:

I'm on Sosh France - Same as David. I pay 11 euros. But whenever someone from Switzerland calls me they often inquire as to why I have a French number. 


 


I've been suggested to use Sunrise too. 


Francis McGuire, Jan 16, 2020 @ 00:02
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Re: internet and mobile phone options (expat from US)
Post 8

I use LycaMobile, an inexpensive pay-as-you-go cell service for Swiss cellular service (data and voice), and use the free Google Voice app to make US calls. I pay 19.- CHF/month for service.  LycaMobile, unlike other Swiss carriers, can not be used as a mobile hot spot.


This approach obviously does not address in-home internet access but is a cost-effective cellular approach.

The text you are quoting:

I use LycaMobile, an inexpensive pay-as-you-go cell service for Swiss cellular service (data and voice), and use the free Google Voice app to make US calls. I pay 19.- CHF/month for service.  LycaMobile, unlike other Swiss carriers, can not be used as a mobile hot spot.


This approach obviously does not address in-home internet access but is a cost-effective cellular approach.


Chris D, Jan 16, 2020 @ 18:14
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