Switzerland Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: July 2024

Report Pages: 290

Switzerland’s MNOs not to switch off 3G until 2025

Switzerland has the highest fixed broadband penetration rate within the OECD, and also one of the highest within Europe. The county’s infrastructure is still largely based on legacy DSL networks, while the penetration of DSL connections being almost three times the OECD average. However, in recent years the Swiss government, regulator, and operators have focussed on fibre-based services, providing data rates of at least 1Gb/s. This has been supported by numerous cooperative agreements between Swisscom, Swiss Net Fibre, Sunrise, and local utilities. Fibre has also been complemented by 5G services, which now reach about 99% of the population. There has also been some gradual market consolidation, with Sunrise having acquired a significant number of local cable networks to provide it with additional scale.

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 (rebranded as Sunrise in 2022) to contend more effectively against Swisscom in the provision of converged services. 5G offered by the MNOs offer data rates of up to 2Gb/. Various cantons have legislated for halts in 5G network extension, citing health concerns, and Switzerland retains onerous noni-ionising radiation limits. This has obliged operators to use their spectrum assets as efficiently as possible, and has meant that they have been unable to close down their 3G networks as early as has been achieved in other countries in the region. However, the MNOs have been able to close 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.

Key developments:

  • Salt signs deal with Starlink to guarantee mobile coverage in remote areas.
  • Broadband of at least 80Mb/s set for USO from 2024.
  • Sunrise continues to expand by acquiring partner networks.
  • Salt extends the reach of its FttP footprint via a deal with Swiss Fiber Net.
  • Switzerland’s MNOs not switching of 3G until at least 2025.
  • Regulatory measures eliminate FttP network duplication.
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data for 2021, telcos' operating and financial data to Q4 2022, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

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