Switzerland - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 31 May 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 259

Switzerland emerges as a European leader for 1Gb/s fibre broadband

Switzerland has one of the highest broadband penetration rates within Europe, with a focus on services of at least 1Gb/s. This has been supported by sympathetic regulatory measures as well as by cooperative agreements between the main telcos Swisscom, Swiss Net Fibre, and Sunrise UPC, and with local utilities. Fast fibre is complemented by 5G services reaching about 97% of the population by early 2021. Together, these networks will soon enable the telcos to provide ultra-fast broadband services nationally, ahead of most other countries in the region.

The competitive mobile market is served by three network operators and a small number of MVNOs. Liberty Global acquired the MNO Sunrise in November 2020 and merged the business with its own unit UPC Switzerland, creating Sunrise UPC to contend effectively against Swisscom across the sector. 5G services offered by the MNOs offer data rates of up to 2Gb/s, and although various cantons have called a halt to extensions of 5G, citing health concerns, the regulator and environment ministry have put in place measures aimed at ensuring that network rollouts can continue without disruption.

With the migration of subscribers to LTE and 5G networks, the MNOs have been able to begin closing down their GSM networks and repurpose physical assets and spectrum.

Although not a member of the EU, the country’s economic integration has meant that its telecom market deregulation has followed the EU’s liberalisation framework, including the recent regulations on international voice roaming.

This report presents an analysis of Switzerland’s fixed-line telecom market, including an assessment of network infrastructure. It examines the regulatory environment and evaluates the strategies and performance of service providers including Swisscom and Sunrise UPC. The report also assesses the mobile market, including new technologies and profiles of the main operators. In addition, the report reviews the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband segments and the migration to a fibre-abased infrastructure. Subscriber forecasts to 2024 are provided covering a range of services.

BuddeComm notes that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the telecoms market. On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, has offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect has been a reduced (and sometimes negative) subscriber growth, which will continue into 2021.

Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Regulator sets parameters on 5G masts to encourage rollout of network infrastructure;
  • Sunrise is merged with UPC Switzerland and rebrands as Sunrise UPC;
  • Swisscom again investigated for abusing its market dominance;
  • Salt extends the reach of its FttP footprint via a deal with Swiss Fiber Net;
  • Swisscom switches off its GSM network;
  • Regulatory measures eliminate FttP network duplication, increase minimum internet speed on Swisscom's USO;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data for 2019, telcos' operating and financial data to Q1 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Swisscom, Salt (Orange Switzerland), Sunrise, UPC Switzerland, Swiss Digital, Liberty Global (Sunrise UPC)

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