Landlines and mobile phones in Switzerland

using smartphone
Updated 2018-08-17 13:12

Switzerland has one of the most developed telecommunications networks in the whole of Europe. In fact, landline and mobile telephony penetration are quite high in the country. Most Swiss households have at least one landline while most Swiss nationals and residents have a mobile phone. So if you are moving to Switzerland, you will have no trouble in finding a pretty good telecommunications coverage. Switzerland also has many regional operators, thus facilitating the phone market's development and growth. But first of all, you have to determine if you prefer to subscribe to a landline or just use your mobile phone.

Having a landline in Switzerland

Landlines in Switzerland are usually more affordable than mobile services. There are many landline providers in Switzerland to choose from depending on your needs and canton of residence. You should be aware that despite landlines being more affordable, phone rates in Switzerland are quite high and a monthly tax also applies, so a thorough online search beforehand is recommended. As a general rule, leased accommodations are more likely to have a landline.

Good to know:

You can choose between an analogue or ISDN connection which allows you to use multiple telephone lines simultaneously or the cable connection with a better quality landline along with Internet and cable TV.

To get your landline, you will have to produce your identity card or passport and proof of residence. Your bank account number will also be required if you prefer to pay your phone bill by direct debit. Swisscom, which is the national telephone company, generally requests a deposit to connect you to the landline network.

Mobile networks

Switzerland's market for mobile network operators is also very competitive, with attractive packages on offer. The leading provider is Swisscom, who is also bringing 5G coverage in Switzerland by 2020, but you can choose between subscription or prepaid depending on your needs and your financial means. Note that the subscription agreement generally has a one- or two-year duration.

Good to know:

If you're an EU/EFTA national, you can probably use your own mobile phone, just with a Swiss sim card. But if you come from a non-European country, you are advised to get your cell phone unlocked before travelling. You can also buy a new one on the spot.

If you're a frontier worker

Frontier workers are entitled to some benefits. Some prefer to use two mobile phones, one with a Swiss sim card and the other with their national sim card. Special dual sim cards, aka a sim card with both a Swiss and a foreign phone number (French, Italian, German), are also available. Those will help you avoid international roaming charges.


If you have no cell phone nor a landline, you can still find public pay phones in all Swiss cities. Most of these require prepaid cards which you can buy in post offices, shops, gas stations and supermarkets.

Useful links:

Orange Suisse
Aldi Mobile
Coop Mobile

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