Press "Enter" to skip to content

Getting a phone number

There is free WiFi at the Zurich Airport as well as SBB train stations but sometimesĀ it’s not available when you need to use Google Maps.

So one of the first things I did when I moved to Zurich was to get a local phone number.

From my research, there are three networks in Switzerland:

  • Swisscom
  • Salt
  • Sunrise

All mobile operators operate on one of these networks. Swisscom I guess is considered the best one, although I saw some recent reports that Salt or Sunrise was slightly better in the latest tests.

I just wanted the cheapest one.

If you get a subscription, it’s going to cost you a lot. At least 40-60 CHF per month. A lot of people in Switzerland are overpaying. I was also guilty of this back at home since I was too lazy to change anything.

An alternative is to get a prepaid SIM card instead. You pay way less and the

According to comparis.ch, Lycamobile EU19 was one of the cheapest plans. Apperently, Lycamobile uses the Swisscom network. Great.

When you get a SIM card, you’ll need to provide your ID. They’ll also ask for your address. But it seems like this does not matter much since my name was misspelled and I gave them the address of my office and everything is still fine.

Lycamobile

I did this at the Zurich Airport.

I thought I could get Lycamobile prepaid SIM at KKiosk, InterDiscount or Swisscom but it looked like they didn’t want to deal with registering me so they told me to go to the post office.

And that’s what I did.

  • Go to a post office (Die Post), I did it at the Zurich airport
  • Press a button and get a number to wait in line
  • Ask for Lyca mobile pre-paid SIM card (pronounced as “like a”)
  • They’ll ask for your passport, I gave them my Latvian ID card
  • Write your address on a piece of paper when asked, I gave them the address of my office
  • They’ll ask if 20 CHF credit is enough
  • I paid 19.90 and got 20 CHF credit

Then

  • Insert the SIM card in your phone
  • They’re going to send you a text message with your phone number
  • Order EU19 for 19 CHF for 30 days by entering the code `…`
  • Add an APN with the host `data.lycamobile.ch`
  • You now have 500 minutes in CH+EU, 500 SMS and unlimited data (first 3 GB at 4G speed, then throttled at 120 kb/s)

You can check your remaining minutes & sms with `…`.
You can see the balance with `…`.

I’m going to let you know how to top it up and what happens when the period ends.

If you top up your balance with 200 CHF, you get a bonus of additional 150 CHF which works out to be about 11 CHF/month for this plan. Pretty sweet.