Welcome to another edition of Dear Frau. It’s kind of like Dear Abby, except with an international twist. Remember, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to contact The Frau.
My wife and I are moving to Switzerland for one year. We are very tech oriented, so the first thing we want to settle is a cell phone+data plan...
Which networks should I check? Any chance of making a plan in Germany and using it in Switzerland? And what do I do if I have an iPhone 5 and need a Nano-SIM?
Data Needy in CH
Dear Data Needy in CH,
The Frau speaks English and conversational German. But your email sounds like it’s in an entirely different language. Unfortunately The Frau does not speak tech. If you want proof, have a look at the 2006 Motorola cell phone she still uses in an Orange pre-pay kind of style.
Hopefully some fellow yodelers can come to your service by leaving comments below that directly answer your questions. All The Frau knows is this: it’s almost impossible to get any kind of phone or data plan without first having your residence permit.
This is a cruel joke to play on any newcomer, but it sounds like it will be especially cruel for you. So plan on visiting a lot of Starbucks to get your Wifi fix and Skype away the hours while Swiss bureaucracy does its thing.
The reason The Frau has pre-paid plan in the first place is because it was all the Swiss would give her while she waited and waited for her official piece of paper that said she was a permanent resident.
In the end, The Frau is grateful for her Orange pre-pay SIM as it has probably saved her thousands of francs in phone bills over the last seven years.
Anyway, the main phone and Internet service plans in Switzerland include:
Luckily, unlike when The Frau arrived in 2006, these companies actually have functional websites that converse in English (much has changed in the last seven years!) so you may find some of your answers there.
But that being said, fellow yodelers, can you help Data Needy in CH?