2011 Switzerland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 22 Feb 2012 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 92

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the Swiss telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Regulator’s measures eliminate FttH network duplication; regulator increases minimum internet speed on Swisscom’s USO; Swisscom signs its twelfth FttH network construction sharing contract, plans for one million households to be connected to FttH by 2015; minimum broadband connection upgraded to 1Mb/s; Orange Switzerland sold to private equity firm; Swisscom launches M2M services; UPC Cablecom plans to launch as an MVNO; Sunrise launches Sunrise TV service; regulator reconsiders wholesale access prices; Swisscom takes €973 million write-down on Italian subsidiary Fastweb; regulator’s updated market report; operator data for Q3 2011; market developments to 2012.

Companies covered in this report include:

Swisscom, Sunrise, Cybernet, UPC Cablecom, Hospitality Services, Orange Switzerland, , Swisscom Mobile, Zirkumflex, Migros, Coop Mobile, Lycamobile, Abalon Telecom, Mobilezone Yallo, Lebara, The Phone House, United Mobile Liechtenstein, M-Budget Mobile,.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Switzerland. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics and forecasts.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- February 2012 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

Switzerland’s cooperative fibre infrastructure showing dividends

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Switzerland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Switzerland.

The telecom market was worth an estimated CHF18.1 billion in 2011, showing a slight increase year-on-year compared to a near 8% increase between 2006 and 2007. This reflected the continuing economic turmoil which has resulted in lower consumer spend on many discretionary telecom services. In addition, revenue has been hit by the continuing effects of falling prices resulting from competition and regulatory measures.

The major operators have maintained their investments in the sector, with the lion’s share being directed to upgrading mobile networks with technologies including HSPA and LTE, as also in fibre-based broadband infrastructure. Although liquidity issues coupled with lower operator revenue during the past two years have dented overall investment, which has fallen steadily since 2008, some rebound may be expected in 2012 as a result of Swisscom’s continuing efforts in its FttH network and operator interest in the forthcoming mobile spectrum auction.

Overall telecom revenue has been propped up by the broadband and mobile sectors. Mobile tariffs remain above the average EU prices, while local fixed-line calls are also comparatively high. In the mobile sector, Orange Switzerland in early 2012 was bought by the private equity firm Apex Partners for €1.6 billion. France Telecom sold the unit as part of a portfolio review that will see it focus on fast-growing emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa. The move followed the 2010 purchase of Sunrise by the private equity investment group CVC Capital Partners. This suggests significant faith in the health and viability of Switzerland’s telecom sector among key investment houses.

Switzerland retains one of the highest broadband penetration rates in Europe, supported by excellent cross-platform infrastructure with near-comprehensive DSL availability and a well developed cable TV market, a legacy of network builds in the late 1980s. The fibre sector has become increasingly prominent, largely through the competitive pressure which the main cableco UPC has placed on Swisscom. As UPC has incrementally increased its broadband offerings to 100Mb/s Swisscom has been pressed to maintain investment in its VDSL and FttH infrastructure. The build-out of the latter has been greatly facilitated by a number of cooperative deals with municipal and regional utilities, themselves the fruit of regulatory efforts to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum through shared infrastructure. Assessments by the Competition Commission obliged Swisscom to renegotiate some of the partnerships. The regulator’s series of Round Tables in early 2012 established that operators had developed sufficient progress in network sharing agreements, the development of uniform technical standards, the laying of multiple fibres and the principles of access on equal terms and conditions. These developments will help propel Switzerland as a real leader in fibre deployment in coming years, while the country’s regulatory approach to fibre network access and wholesale charging will remain an example of an efficient and fair access regime.

Switzerland – Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012



2012 (e)

Subscribers to telecom services (million):

Fixed broadband



Fixed-line telephony



Mobile telephony



Penetration of telecom services:

Fixed broadband






Mobile telephony



(Source: BuddeComm)

Key highlights

  • DSL remains the dominant broadband access platform though FttX developments will see the DSL subscriber base diminish from 2012/2013 as consumers are migrated to fibre networks. The cable sector is likely to retain its market share given operator investments in DOCSIS3.0 technology.
  • The regulator’s planned auction of a wide range of spectrum in 2012 will provide greater certainty for operators planning their investment and network upgrade strategies. Including digital dividend spectrum in the sub-GHz band will greatly enhance the development of mobile broadband offerings based on LTE.
  • Swisscom planned to launch commercial LTE services by the end of 2012, following trials in late 2011 and a five-year contract with Ericsson to upgrade mobile-core and radio networks.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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