2016 Switzerland - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 22 Feb 2017 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 90

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Switzerland’s 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 developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- February 2017 (14th Edition)

Executive Summary

Switzerland improves broadband speeds under new universal service obligations

Switzerland has a sophisticated telecom sector and enjoys one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the OECD. Its competitive mobile market is served by three network operators and a small number of MVNOs while the broadband market is dominated by Swisscom and the main cableco UPC, though there are a large number of smaller players in the market, many providing services to local communities. UPC has gained scale in recent years by acquiring a number of its partner networks.

The mobile market has undergone a number of changes in recent years, with the operator Salt (formerly Orange Switzerland) having been acquired by NJJ Capital in February 2015, and with Sunrise having been acquired by a private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners. Following an IPO in February 2016 Sunrise raised CHF2.274 billion. Shortly afterwards a 23.8% stake in Sunrise was sold to the German mobile services provider freenet. The market has also benefited from the entry of UPC, which provides mobile voice and data services as an MVNO. As a full-service provider of quad-play bundles UPC can compete more effectively with Sunrise and Swisscom.

Mobile penetration is on a par with the European average while mobile data use among consumers has increased rapidly in line with the expended reach of technologies including HSPA and LTE. Customer use of mobile data services is helping to offset declining ARPU and lower traffic in the SMS segment as consumers adopt a range of OTT messaging services. Higher data usage also encouraged Swisscom to decide to switch off its 2G infrastructure and utilise these network assets for LTE and forthcoming 5G services.

In the broadband sector there is effective cross-platform competition. The DSL market is dominated by Swisscom’s retail offerings, while UPC offers cable broadband in most cities and towns. Its extension of 500Mb/s services helped spur Swisscom to intensify its own VDSL, G.fast and FttP network rollouts in a bid to remain competitive.

There has been a government focus on broadband deployment of ‘ultra-fast’ broadband, or that defined as at least 100Mb/s. This depends on the growing footprint of technologies based on fibre, LTE and the new DOCSIS3.1 standard. By 2020 fixed-line networks are expected to deliver at least 100Mb/s to 85% of the population, while LTE should cover 100% by that date.

This report presents a statistical profile of Switzerland’s telecom market. It assesses the regulatory environment, noting the status of local loop unbundling, as well as recent developments in the universal service obligation. It also evaluates the strategies and performance of major service providers Swisscom, UPC and Sunrise, and looks ahead to market developments in coming years. The report in addition analyses the broadband market, including profiles of the main players in the DSL, cable, fibre and wireless sectors. It details technological developments, provides broadband forecasts to 2021, and examines regulatory issues related to municipal fibre, local loop unbundling, and the provision of broadband as a universal service. This report also assesses the mobile market, presenting an analysis on the regulatory environment, profiles of the main providers and updates on developments with emerging technologies including 5G.

Key developments:

  • Swisscom expands LoRa networks;
  • Regulator redefines USO minimum broadband speed at 3Mb/s; Swisscom has USO licence renewed to 2022;
  • Reduced MTRs kick in for 2017;
  • Sunrise considers sale of parts of its mobile network infrastructure;
  • Swisscom partners with Ericsson to prepare path for commercial 5G services by 2020, prepares launch of LTE-A Pro services later in 2017;
  • Swisscom planning to switch off its 2G network by 2020;
  • Regulator measures eliminate FttP network duplication;
  • Swisscom to concentrate on G-fast to deliver fast broadband to 2020;
  • Laussane to be connected with FttP by end-2017; Swisscom contracts Huawei for FttS network upgrade;
  • UPC expands the reach of its 500Mb/s cable broadband service;
  • E-government Strategic Plan 2017 – 2019 adopted;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q4 2016, recent market developments. 

Companies mentioned in this report:

Swisscom, Sunrise, UPC, Swisscom Mobile, Salt (Orange Switzerland), Cybernet

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