Prices for telephony services
According to the National Consumer Price Index issued by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), which measures price trends on the basis of a basket of the principal consumer goods and services purchased by Swiss households, the overall index for telecommunications services declined by 0.5 percentage points between 2020 and 2021. The index for mobile telephone communications remained virtually unchanged last year (+0.1 percentage points).
The mobile telephony prices covered by OFCOM's Statistical Observatory, which are based on the lowest rates offered by providers on the Swiss market, reveal considerable differences, however.
As last year, in all baskets the most expensive deal (Swisscom) cost 2 to 2.5 times the most affordable, which was UPC in the small and medium-sized basket and Yallo in the large basket.
In 2021, the most competitive deal for low-use customers was available from UPC at less than CHF 10 per month. At Swisscom, it was CHF 25. For medium-use customers, the UPC deal cost less than CHF 20, but the Swisscom one was CHF 50. Finally, high-use customers found the cheapest offer at Yallo for around CHF 25.60 and the most expensive at Swisscom for CHF 50.60. The latter price dropped by a considerable CHF 15.50 from 2020 to 2021.
Mobile telephony prices in Switzerland are still among the highest internationally for the medium-sized basket. This is confirmed by the Teligen price baskets published by the market research company Strategy Analytics, which are based on OECD methodology and take into account the most competitive products offered by the largest carriers in each country. They are below the OECD average for the small and large baskets, but more detail is needed to understand this finding fully.
The price basket for Switzerland factors in the three network operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom, as well as the secondary and tertiary brands UPC, Yallo and M-Budget. These include products and options from both the prepaid and contract segments. For a medium-use basket of voice and data connections (100 calls and 2 GB of data), a customer in Switzerland paid almost CHF 4 per month more than the OECD-wide average in August 2021 (CHF 19.90 vs. CHF 16.20). In terms of the cheapest offer Switzerland comes in 23rd and thus in the third containing the most expensive countries.
By contrast, customers who have comparatively little need of mobile services (30 calls and 500 Mbps data) paid CHF 2.50 less per month in Switzerland than the OECD average (CHF 9.90 vs. CHF 12.40). Even with its cheapest offer Switzerland is still in 15th place.
Customers with high usage requirements (unlimited calls and 20 GB of data) paid almost CHF 8 less per month in Switzerland than the OECD average (CHF 25.60 vs. CHF 33.20). Switzerland still ranks 14th, however, and ten or so countries offer comparable products for less than CHF 20 per month.