TV, internet & phone: practical info

Guide bySwisscom

Switzerland's telecoms are ranked as the best in Europe - and the most expensive. You will only be able to set up telecoms after you are registered as a resident in Switzerland. TV and radio license is mandatory and it costs CHF 365/ year.

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  • Setting up telecoms at home will take between 1 to 2 weeks - sometimes even longer. Start the process before you move to your new address.

  • For mobile, you will require proof of residence, even for the purchase of pre-paid mobile SIM cards.

  • Hello Switzerland's activation service gives you a head start and reduces your waiting time. 

Differentiate between telecom providers

There are numerous telecom providers in Switzerland, ranging from budget options to more expensive.

The main ways to differentiate between them are as follows:

  • Pricing

  • Quality of customer service

  • English customer service: be aware that not all local providers are able to provide customer service in English.

Phone, internet and TV for your needs 

For phone set up: how much will you need to use international minutes? To which countries? Unlimited options are available for Europe, but less for other continents.

For internet set up: what speed is best for you?

For TV set up: are channels from your home country available?

Additional TV need-to-knows

Most apartment buildings have basic cable TV included in their rates. This will provide a standard range of around 30 non-HD channels, in various languages.

Most tenants decide to connect an additional TV package from another provider, to receive a better selection of channels and higher quality screen resolution.

If you choose a digital TV provider such as Swisscom, ask your landlord to block the cable connection. Otherwise, you will be charged around CHF 40 per month for this connection in your ancillary building costs, even if you don’t use it. Note that this hidden cost can make cable TV options such as UPC look cheaper compared to digital TV providers, because it’s charged separately.

If you want to install a satellite dish, you need permission from the renting agency or landlord and you must cover installation and removal costs yourself.

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