Establishing phone service is becoming less important as more and more people rely on mobile phones. However, setting up a landline is usually simple and may be included with internet/TV package. There is a wide selection of telephone options.
To set up internet or telephone service you will need:
To call internationally from Switzerland:
Dial exit code (00) followed by country code, area code and number. In some countries, the leading zero of the area code must not be dialed. For example:
00 + country code + area code + tel number
To call internationally to Switzerland:
Dial the number required for an international call, such as 00, then 41 (country code for Switzerland), then the phone number without the leading zero of the former area code. For example:
0041 44 995 1570
There are public phones in most cities that have surprisingly fair prices for international phone calls. They can be used by inserting a major international credit card. There are no surcharge for credit cards. Some phones offer internet options like browsing, e-mails, and sending sms (text message).
A prepaid card can be the easiest way to make international calls and the only way to use public phones. Cards usually come with German and French instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available.
Cards can be found in supermarket chains like Migros and Coop, in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive). Most cards cost 20 CHF and include 15 CHF of airtime. The cheapest prepaid card for international communication is "Yallo" at 0.39 CHF/min within Switzerland and most of Europe. SMS cost 0.10 CHF.
The cards are available in various denominations at post offices, filling stations, supermarkets, and most newsstands.
Various sites offer the ability to "chat" with other users. Originally this meant typed messages that would instantly pop up on each others screens. In recent years, this has expanded to being able to voice and video chat. With service through the internet, it is cheap, easy, and even better then a phone call.
Skype is far and away the best technology as users can message, talk, or video chat with other internet users for free. Users can also call land lines and mobile phones for a fee. Other useful services include google talk, windows live messenger, meebo, and more.
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