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Phone & Internet Guide




Overall process for getting a mobile


To use a Swiss number, you need two things:

  • a mobile phone
  • a swiss SIM card


Getting a phone (for free, usually)


  • You can either use a mobile phone you bring with you from abroad (almost all phones work in CH), or get a new phone in CH.
  • In most cases, Swiss mobile service providers will offer you an advanced new phone for free (or for a fraction of their normal price) when you commit to using a monthly-subscription plan with that company for minimum 12 months.


Saving tip: If you have decided to keep your mobile phone from abroad, some operators propose a cheaper monthly fee for their price plans if you ask for the SIM card only. Sometimes this option offers as well a shorter term contract so if you are staying in Switzerland for a short period of time, this is ideal for you.


Getting a SIM card


Which Mobile Operator to choose?


There are 3 main mobile operators in CH:

  • Salt
  • Sunrise
  • Swisscom



What to bring with you?


To sign-up to a subscription, you'll need to bring the following documents with you:

  • ID card or passport
  • Swiss work permit or letter of confirmation of permit
  • Credit card and bank account details


If you have arrived very recently, you may have to prove your address. Bring a bill proving it (electricity, gas…).

You may be asked to pay a deposit or set-up your payments by direct debit.

If you subscribe to Orange, in order to speed up the process at the Orange Center, you can download the direct debit document.


Monthly-subscription or PrePay?


Monthly-subscription (usually for minimum 12 months)


What it is:

You pay a monthly bill based on how much you used your phone, plus a minimum flat fee per month.

Advantages (versus PrePay plans):


  • No need to recharge with credits
  • Better deals on new phones when you commit to 12-24 months plans


PrePay ('pay as you go')


Key Disadvantage:


  • Need to recharge with credits
  • If you use your phone often, monthly-subscription plans will usually come out cheaper.


Monthly-subscription with cost limit


What it is:


You pay a flat fee per month which includes a credit that you can use for calls and SMS. This solution combines the benefits of a subscription with Prepay so that you have control of your costs. Run out of credit before the beginning of the next month? No problem, you can still recharge manually like a standard Prepay.



  • Low monthly fee with credit included
  • Credit can be topped up at any time
  • Attractive mobile phones with favorable terms & conditions 


Choosing the right monthly-subscription


The right plan for you will depend on several factors:

  • Do you call / use SMS often, or rarely?
  • Do you call the same numbers all the time?
  • Do you surf the web using your phone?
  • Will you use your phone when abroad, and for making international calls?
  • Does your operator allow you to change plans, if your needs change?  
For more detailed information, please feel free to contact Orange either at www.orange.ch
or at an
Orange Center.
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