SimCard suggestion for Switzerland

SimCard suggestion for Switzerland

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Posts: 16. This thread is closed.
chandraks
chandraks
96 posts
active member
Aug 18, 2016 - 1:34 AM

Hi Arno/Annika, would appreciate your suggestion on the simcard purchase, are they available at airport ? Slowpoke , where did you buy usually the simcards and since I don't have much time as I will be leaving on 26th, would like to buy there. Which is the best simcard ? I did go to the link www.myswissalps.com/si mcard, but could not find much info on where to buy, it talks about online purchase only. Thanks

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 18, 2016 - 5:52 AM in reply to chandraks

Hi Chandra,

The options on that page are quite convenient as they will send the Sim card to your home or hotel in Switzerland (free of charge). That will save you time as you can use it right away. Delivery to any Swiss address takes 3 business days.

The Wifi hotspot can be collected at the airport if you prefer that, or in your hotel, but you need to order it in advance.

The Swisscom shop at the airport should have various options but I don't have details. The staff can help you out. They will require an ID to buy a SIM card.

Last modified on Aug 18, 2016 - 7:05 AM by Arno
chandraks
chandraks
96 posts
active member
Aug 18, 2016 - 11:15 PM in reply to Arno

Simlystore replied saying it takes 7 to 10 business days to get to USA. I was reading that in order purchase at Zurich Airport, you need SWISS ID itseems, do they accept US passport ? I will check it out with simlystore whether they can ship to my hotel at interlaken where I would be reaching. If you or anyone has any suggestions let me know...Thanks

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 19, 2016 - 8:38 AM in reply to chandraks

Sure Simlystore can ship to your hotel, and much quicker, see my previous post. Just fill that out as the shipping address.

chandraks
chandraks
96 posts
active member
Aug 20, 2016 - 2:59 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno, my question was if I don't order from here, if I want to buy directly there, is it possible ? Chandra

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 20, 2016 - 5:36 AM in reply to chandraks

Hi Chandra,

Yes it should be, but you'll have to ask the store staff for suitable products. I don't have that information.

chandraks
chandraks
96 posts
active member
Aug 20, 2016 - 2:03 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno. I heard there are couple of stores like Salt (formerly Orange) and SWISSCOM in the airport, I will try in the airport stores first. Since time is too short now I prefer to buy directly there. I did everything in advance except the SIMCARD thing, did not realize atleast two weeks before one has to order. The confusion started, someone in the forums mentioned that you have to be Swiss local to buy directly there, it looks like even with Passport ID is good enough to buy over there directly?. Thanks

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 20, 2016 - 2:12 PM in reply to chandraks

It's just a few days to have a SIM card delivered to your hotel, not two weeks (see my first and second post). But you should be able to find something at the airport as well. You won't be the first tourist with that question. It just takes some time.

Last modified on Aug 20, 2016 - 2:13 PM by Arno
chandraks
chandraks
96 posts
active member
Aug 21, 2016 - 6:53 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno !

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Aug 23, 2016 - 2:13 PM

We were in the Netherlands for a week before going to Switzerland. We already own a 3G ZTE mifi hotspot that we bought in Germany several years ago and have used on trips to various European countries by purchasing a local sim card and having the vendor activate it for us in a local cell phone and then put it into our device. These could be topped up if you had a local phone number, but most travelers would not have that.

We did this via two different Vodaphone shops in the Netherlands a couple of weeks ago on the suggestion of a Vodaphone clerk and got a good deal for several gigabytes for $15 Euros, good for 2 weeks. They told us that the Vodaphone sim card would work in Switzerland too, but this turned out not to be the case. I don't know if they were misinformed, or if it was "operator error" on our part.

I tried without success to find a similar store in Switzerland to buy a local sim card for our unit. We were not staying long in one place, so we ended up going without connectivity outside of our hotels for the week we were there.

If there was a simple way to buy a sim card for an existing hotspot unit in Switzerland, we did not figure it out, nor whether our Vodaphone sim card actually should have worked in Switzerland.

Has anyone in this forum been able to purchase a Swiss sim card and get it to work in a personal hotspot unit?

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 23, 2016 - 2:25 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Idorland,

I don't own a personal hot spot, and the one I tested comes with a built in SIM card so it works instantly. The Swiss SIM card I also tested should work in your case. I put it in my phone and successfully used the phone as a hot spot, so that's basically the same thing. You'll find both options here: myswissalps.com/ simcard.

Last modified on Aug 23, 2016 - 2:35 PM by Annika
ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Aug 23, 2016 - 2:39 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno. I think the problem is using a sim card in YOUR phone (which is local and has a registered phone number) vs using the sim card in a mifi hotspot unit that has not been registered in Switzerland. My understanding is that activating the new data sim card requires it be associated with a local phone number. The Vodaphone agents put my new sim card into one of their phones to activate. Then when it was transferred to our hotspot unit, it just *worked* with our unit's password. There may be other ways, but my limited knowledge prevented me from using them. ;-)

Another problem is the language that the sim card (or mifi unit) understands. Ours speaks German, so having a telecom employee help us to install and make sure it was working was the smarter way to proceed!

Liz D

Last modified on Aug 23, 2016 - 2:42 PM by ldorland
Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 23, 2016 - 3:04 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz,

That should not be an issue. I don't have a phone registered in Switzerland. Actually it contains a Dutch SIM card (also Vodafone) most of the time. In Switzerland, I replaced that SIM card with the Swiss one, and it worked immediately. You may want to try that SIM card next time. Even if it does not work in your hot spot, it will work in your smart phone, and you can use that as a hot spot.

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Aug 23, 2016 - 5:05 PM in reply to Arno

Yes, one of the phone store employees in the Netherlands suggested taking the sim card out of my iPhone and replacing it with the new one. However, I keep my iPhone active on my US ATT account overseas only so that I can receive text messages from the USA and from family members traveling with me. Those text messages only cost 50 cents US each, while using the phone for actual calls or data with the US sim card would be fatally expensive! If I replace my iPhone sim card with a local one to share data on wifi, I would lose that family text connectivity. So I guess I'm stuck with whatever works in each country!

LD

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 24, 2016 - 2:13 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz,

One more suggestion: if you travel frequently it might be worth it to consider a dual SIM phone when you need a new phone. In that case you can keep your US SIM card and also insert a local one. I have not tried this myself, but I suppose this is what dual SIM phones are for, and for using a private and business number in the same phone.

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Aug 24, 2016 - 3:34 PM in reply to Arno

Interesting, Arno. Thanks for the feedback. To be fair, we were moving fast around Switzerland and had limited time. I suspect that a local Swiss telecom shop would have been able to help us with a sim card for our MiFi device if I had dropped in. That's been the case in England, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Singapore over the last few years. As a family, we are totally wedded to our iPhones. ;-)

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