Once you have found a house in Switzerland, many expats choose to set up a phone line. This will allow you the ease of access to a phone for you and your family, as well as smooth communications for starting a business in Switzerland. Once at the centre of modern communication, the concept of a phone line has declined in popularity. However, in some areas, a landline attached directly to your property is still essential for access to the Internet.
Phone line (landline / fixed line) providers in Switzerland
All phone lines in Switzerland are controlled by Swisscom. However, you are able to use packages from some of the Swiss mobile phone companies that will be able to provide a landline. These are:
How to get a Swiss landline
Typically, people in Switzerland take out a landline as part of a television, mobile phone or Internet package. In some areas of Switzerland, Internet provided through a landline is the only option. All types of housing are connected to the landline network, making installation easier. In order to connect your landline, you need to sign a contract with your Internet or TV provider that includes a landline phone.
Landline contracts in Switzerland
Landline contracts, much like mobile telephones, range from 12 to 48 months in length. Most contracts are bundled together to provide multiple services to the customer. In many cases, landlines are offered for free as part of an Internet package. These contracts are binding and cannot be easily cancelled or amended. Any person who holds a Swiss residence permit can take out a landline contract, although some may ask for deposits if you only hold a B- or L-permit.
Once you have signed a contract, you will be sent a landline phone through the post, with detailed instructions on how to install the phone.
Payments for landlines are typically paid in monthly installments for the duration of your contract. These payments can be made by standing order or direct debit. If your contract has restrictions on use such as a cap on the number of minutes, any additional charges will be reflected in your monthly bill.
Switching phone line provider in Switzerland
Trying to switch landline providers while still under contract is highly complex. Due to the service being intertwined with other utilities, changing provider during an active contract can lead to large transfer costs and administrative fees. If you would like to change your phone line after the expiry of your old contract, your new provider will inform your old one that the switch will take place. No physical changes have to be made as landlines are all controlled by Swisscom.
If your house does not have a landline, such as with newly built homes, you will have to pay installation fees in order to receive one. In order to install your new phone line, you must contact Swisscom who will send an engineer to make your house compatible with a landline. This process usually takes around 2 weeks from installation to activation at a cost of 40 to 70 Swiss francs.