Some days back, I purchased a couple of SIM cards from digitalrepublic.ch and they work great. The concept is quite simple, they provide you with a SIM card with unlimited Internet Data traffic, but limited in speed. Above you can see the plans they offer.
While it is not technically enabled as phone to make calls, you are assigned a phone number with the SIM Card that can receive calls and SMS within Switzerland. Mostly I use WhatsApp for calling for my use case, but once you have an internet connection on a device, you can add some credit to a service like Skype or any other, if you need to make outbound calls too.
The other cool thing, is that you can assign a package today, but freeze the package for some other months through a very friendly online interface you can open on a standard browser, probably they would be launching a mobile app soon too.
This way you get to spend only when you need mobile data on your SIM card. I asked their support team how long can I be without activating a plan and they answered that they did not apply any restrictions to it, but at least 12 months should be fine. I think that if they keep them always active so one can use them whenever needed would be great. Of course you can change plans or enable auto-renewal if that’s what you are looking for.
I was looking for a solution to give to my friends and family that come to visit us from abroad so they can be connected while outside our house (where they usually use WiFi). I already tested it with some friends that recently came over for Christmas and the 10Mbps package worked very well.
Having the possibility to be connected to a safe network to browse the internet, removes all the hassles of connecting to public wireless networks which anyway require an SMS to be sent to their phone lines to enable them to connect, at least this is how it works in Switzerland. My friends come from Argentina most of the time, where they don’t enable their phones for Roaming because it would be crazy expensive for them, yes, even receiving an SMS while in Europe on a phone line from Argentina would be charged quite a lot form them.
Digital Republic seems to be a recent startup based on the Zurich Hub Association incubator, that started with Ali Soy and Marco Arnold, two former Swisscom employees that seem to know exactly what the market was hungry for. They have created a great business model that allows companies to offer their services under their own brands (white label). An example of this is Digitec.ch (one of the top tech retails in Switzerland) to have their own Digitec Connect brand to offer their own branded SIM card service. Digital Republic understands today and near future market needs for Internet of Things (IoT) helping organizations with their digital transformations.
I did ask some other questions to their support, like if it was possible to port in my own number, but this is not possible. For the ones interested, on their FAQ`s they specify that they use the Sunrise network.
They are soon also going to offer roaming data packages, if they are as friendly from a cost perspective, this could be a great deal, as its very common to travel to Italy, France, Germany and Austria if you live in Switzerland.
The two points that I think ar most attractive from their offer are:
- Unlimited bandwidth on whichever plan you choose.
- No monthly fixed costs, giving you the flexibility to activate a plan just the month/s that you need it and don’t pay anything when you don’t need it.
A very easy to use service, that will get your devices connected to the internet, with flexible and friendly costs that should fit to most of your requirements. I am really happy to see how the mobile internet offerings in Switzerland are becoming more flexible and affordable in line with the European Union friendlier costs, this is definitely the way to go. Looking forward to see what comes next 😃 .
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