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Mobile calls remain costlier than abroad

The use of mobile phones in Switzerland is up to 80 per cent higher than in other European countries, a survey has found.

Higher prices for interconnection charges – a fee to be paid by other providers to the current supplier, and a preference for phone subscriptions rather than pre-paid cards are the main reasons for the higher prices.

“There is a tradition of subscriptions. It is probably considered more comfortable. It leaves more choice and allows customers to receive the latest technical gadgets,” said Philipp Metzger of the Federal Communications Office on Wednesday.

Pre-paid clients make up about 43 per cent of the total in Switzerland, compared with an average 58 per cent in the European Union.

The Swiss were also more likely to stay with the former monopoly telecom provider, than in other countries.

There were about 8.5 million mobile phone users in Switzerland last year – nearly 11 per cent more than the total population.

Italy tops the list ahead of Lithuania and Luxembourg, while Switzerland is currently eight per cent below the EU average.

The price of fixed-line calls is comparable with that in EU countries, but calls abroad cost only half as much from Switzerland, the survey found.

Switzerland is among the top four in a list of industrialised countries when it comes to broad band access for the internet. Four out of five households which are online use the technology, according to Metzger.

Urs Geiser,

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR