What does international roaming mean?
International roaming means using a device with a SIM card when abroad. In this way, a customer can therefore make calls, send and receive SMS messages and access the internet using their phone (terminal device) when abroad. Depending on the country, contract and use of the device, the customer could come home to a nasty surprise in the form of a high bill.
Why is roaming so expensive?
Swiss mobile telephony providers only have their own mobile network in Switzerland. In order for customers to be able to use their equipment abroad, the Swiss mobile telephony providers must conclude several roaming agreements with foreign mobile operators. Prices for use of the foreign network is often very high for the Swiss mobile operators. These costs are passed on to their customers by the Swiss mobile telephony providers in the form of roaming charges. Sometimes the margins of mobile operators are simply higher.
Why do EU and EEA citizens pay less?
When EU/EEA citizens travel within EU/EEA countries, the "Roam-like-at-home" (RLAH) rules apply. This rule means that since 15 June 2017, EU/EEA citizens can use their phone (mobile terminal) in EU/EEA countries under the same conditions as they do at home. For details: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/news/european-parliament-approves-wholesale-roaming-prices-2017-apr-06_de (last visited on 07.06.2018)
What applies to Switzerland and why is there no "Roam like at home"?
In contrast to the EU, Switzerland has no regulations governing roaming. Adoption of the RLAH rules is therefore not possible.
Within the framework of a revision of the Telecommunications Act (TCA), the Federal Council is proposing measures to combat disproportionately high roaming charges: Among other things, the setting of fair billing procedures (e.g. per-second billing) or the setting of price caps. Parliament will debate the proposed article within the framework of the TCA revision.