Switzerland - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Switzerland calls halt on 5G amid radiation health fears

Switzerland has a sophisticated telecom sector and enjoys one of the highest broadband penetration rates within the European Union and among the OECD nations. 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 UPC Switzerland, 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 bid from the full-service provider Sunrise to acquire the operator was called off in late 2019.

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.

The country benefits from universal DSL infrastructure and an expansive cable broadband network, with effective cross-platform competition. The DSL sector commands a diminishing share of the market, while that for fibre has increased rapidly. UPC Switzerland offers broadband in most cities and towns, and its gigabit service is now available across its footprint This network upgrade spurred Swisscom to intensify its VDSL, G.fast and FttP network rollouts in a bid to remain competitive. Swisscom’s planned infrastructure investment over the coming years has been facilitated by cooperative deals struck with regional utility companies.

The government has promoted technologies providing focus on ‘ultra-fast’ broadband, and by the end of 2020 fixed-line networks are expected to deliver at least 100Mb/s to 85% of the population. The extension of mobile broadband services from Swisscom and Sunrise is being supported by the operators closing down 2G infrastructure and repurposing spectrum and physical assets for LTE and, in future, 5G use. Although there are about 2,000 5G-ready mobile antennae, the environment agency in late 2019 urged canton governments to halt 5G transmissions (though development in 5G infrastructure can continue) pending further checks on the health implications of radiofrequency radiation.

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, UPC Switzerland and Sunrise. 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.

Key developments:

  • Environment agency concerns of 5G tower radiation results in halt of services;
  • Sunrise expands the reach of its 5G network;
  • Fine against Swisscom for unfair DSL pricing confirmed by Federal Supreme Court;
  • Salt extends the reach of its FttP footprint via Swiss Fibre deal;
  • Regulator concludes multi-spectrum auction for 5G services;
  • Sunrise and Swisscom to switch off 2G infrastructure;
  • Swisscom and Ericsson trial 10Gb/s 5G;
  • Federal Council adopts changes to Telecommunications Act;
  • Swisscom deploys LoRa networks;
  • Regulatory measures eliminate FttP network duplication, increase minimum internet speed on Swisscom's USO;
  • UPC Switzerland extends gigabit services across its footprint;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data for 2018, telcos' operating and financial data to Q4 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses; recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Henry Lancaster
February 2020

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Regional European Market Comparison

    • Europe Telecom Maturity Index by tier
      • Market Leaders
      • Market Challengers
      • Market Emergents
    • TMI versus GDP
    • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
    • Fixed versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Market analysis
    • Government ICT strategy
  • Regulatory environment

    • Historical overview
    • Regulatory authorities
    • Fixed-line developments
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • Telecommunications Act
      • Privatisation
      • Interconnect
      • Leased lines
      • Access
      • Bitstream access
      • Number Portability (NP)
      • Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
      • Universal Service Obligation (USO)
    • Fixed broadband developments
      • Regulatory measures
      • Network sharing
      • Network Neutrality
    • Mobile network developments
      • Spectrum regulations
      • Digital dividend spectrum
      • Spectrum auction - 2012
      • Spectrum auction – 2019
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Mobile termination Rates (MTRs)
      • Roaming
  • Mobile market

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • GSM
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • Mobile voice
    • Mobile data
      • SMS and MMS
    • Mobile broadband
    • Major mobile operators
      • Swisscom Mobile
      • Sunrise
      • Salt Mobile
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
      • Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • m-Music
      • Location-based services
      • m-ticketing
      • m-commerce
      • Train network
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
    • Market analysis
    • Broadband statistics
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • Other fixed broadband services
      • Fixed wireless
  • Fixed network operators

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • Swisscom
    • Sunrise
    • UPC Switzerland
    • Swiss Digital
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • LoRa network
    • VoIP
    • Smart infrastructure
      • Smart cities
  • Digital economy

    • e-government
    • e-economy
    • e-health
  • Appendix – Historic data

  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Switzerland – 2019 (e)
  • Table 2 – Development of telecom market revenue, profit and investment – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Change in telecom market revenue by sector – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Development of telecom investment by sector – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 5 – Change in interconnection revenue – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 6 – Growth in the number of fully unbundled lines – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 7 – Growth in the number of bitstream access lines – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 8 – Decline in the number of fixed numbers ported – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 9 – Decline in the number of Call by Call and CPS lines – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 10 – Change in the number of mobile numbers ported and proportion to total – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Development of mobile roaming revenue by service – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 13 – Change in mobile market revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Change in mobile sector investment (UMTS and total) – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Change in the market share of mobile subscribers by MNO – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Decline in the number of prepaid subscribers and market share – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Fall in the proportion Swisscom Mobile’ prepaid share to total – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 18 – Development of geographic coverage by mobile technology – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Change in the number of 3G mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 20 – Growth in the number of M2M connections – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 21 – Decline in SMS traffic – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Decline in MMS traffic – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Mobile internet subscribers by technology – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 25 – Growth in mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Decline in Swisscom Mobile blended ARPU – 2006 – 2019
  • Table 27 – Decline in Swisscom Mobile’s retail mobile revenue – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 28 – Change in Swisscom Mobile’s subscribers by type – 2006 – 2019
  • Table 29 – Change in the number of Sunrise’s mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 30 – Development of Sunrise’s mobile revenue (CHF) – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 31 – Development of Sunrise’s mobile revenue by quarter (CHF) – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 32 – Decline in Sunrise’s mobile ARPU – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 33 – Development of Salt Mobile’s financial data (CHF) – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 34 – Fall in Salt Mobile’s subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 35 – Growth in the number of UPC Switzerland’s mobile subscribers – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 36 – Change in MVNO’s market share of mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 37 – Decline in the number of dial-up internet subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 38 – Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 39 – Change in the number of fixed broadband subscribers by platform – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 40 – Change in fixed-line broadband market share by platform – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 41 – Fixed-line broadband market share by operator – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 42 – Development of fixed-line broadband penetration by platform – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 43 – Change in the number of fixed broadband connections by rate – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 44 – Change in the proportion of broadband connections by rate – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 45 – Change in the number of cable broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 46 – Change in the number of UPC Switzerland’ broadband subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 47 – Decline in the number of DSL accesses – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 48 – Growth in the number of Swisscom’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 49 – Growth in the number of Sunrise’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 50 – Development of Sunrise’s broadband and TV revenue – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 51 – Change in the number of VDSL accesses – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 52 – Growth in the number of fibre connections by type – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 53 – Growth in the number of fibre subscribers – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 54 – Growth in the number of WiMAX broadband subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 55 – Change in the number of satellite broadband and telephony subscribers – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 56 – Change in the market share of fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 57 – Development of fixed-network revenue – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 58 – Development of Swisscom Group’s financial data – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 59 – Development of Swisscom’s domestic financial data by sector – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 60 – Change in the number of Swisscom’s domestic fixed-voice, mobile, IPTV subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Table 61 – Development of Sunrise’s revenue by service (CHF) – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 62 – Change in the number of Sunrise’s subscribers by sector – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 63 – Development of UPC Switzerland’s financial data – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 64 – Change in the number of UPC Switzerland’ broadband and telephony subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 65 – Change in the number of Swiss Digital’s subscribers by service – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 66 – Change in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2009 – 2024
  • Table 67 – PSTN lines in service – 2007 – 2017
  • Table 68 – Decline in fixed line traffic by type – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 69 – Decline in the number of ISDN subscribers by type – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 70 – Increase in the number of VoIP connections – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 71 – Historic - Telecom market revenue, profit and investment –1998 – 2009
  • Table 72 – Historic - Telecom market revenue by sector – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 73 – Historic - Telecom investment by sector – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 74 – Historic - Interconnection revenue – 2000 - 2009
  • Table 75 – Historic - Call by Call and CPS lines – 1999 – 2008
  • Table 76 – Historic - Mobile numbers ported – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 77 – Mobile termination charges by operator – 2006; 2009 – 2011
  • Table 78 – Mobile termination charges by operator – 2016 – 2019
  • Table 79 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 – 2009
  • Table 80 – Mobile market revenue – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 81 – Historic - Mobile sector investment, UMTS and total – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 82 – Historic - Share of subscribers by MNO – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 83 – Historic - Prepaid subscribers and market share – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 84 – Historic - Swisscom Mobile prepaid share of subscribers – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 85 – Historic - Swisscom Mobile SMS and MMS traffic – 2007 – 2014
  • Table 86 – Historic - SMS traffic – 2002 – 2009
  • Table 87 – Historic - MMS traffic – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 88 – Historic - Swisscom Mobile retail revenue – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 89 – Historic - Sunrise mobile subscribers – 2004 – 2010
  • Table 90 – Historic - Sunrise revenue and annual change (DKK) – 2006 – 2010
  • Table 91 – Historic – Salt mobile revenue (€), annual change – 2005 – 2011
  • Table 92 – Historic - Salt mobile subscribers – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 93 – Historic - Salt ARPU – 2006 – 2011
  • Table 94 – Historic - Salt mobile data as percentage of revenue – 2003 – 2011
  • Table 95 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 96 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 – 2015
  • Table 97 – Historic - Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 98 – Historic- Fixed-line broadband market share by platform – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 99 – Historic - DSL market share by operator – 2006 – 2016
  • Table 100 – Historic - DSL accesses – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 101 – Historic - Cable broadband subscribers – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 102 – Historic - Swiss Digital broadband and telephony subscribers – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 103 – Historic - UPC Switzerland financial data – 2005 – 2009
  • Table 104 – Historic - DSL/fibre accesses by main provider – 2004 – 2016
  • Table 105 – Historic - DSL/fibre market share by main provider – 2004 – 2016
  • Table 106 – Historic - Swisscom broadband subscribers – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 107 – Historic - Fibre connections by type – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 108 – Historic - BPL broadband subscribers – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 109 – Historic - Wi-Fi hotspots in service – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 110 – Historic - Fixed-network revenue – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 111 – Historic - Swisscom Group net revenue, EBITDA and net income – 2004 – 2009
  • Table 112 – Historic - Sunrise financial data (DKK) – 2006 – 2010
  • Table 113 – Historic - Sunrise revenue by type (DKK) – 2006 – 2009
  • Table 114 – Historic - Sunrise subscribers by sector – 2005 – 2009
  • Table 115 – Historic - Swiss Digital’s subscribers by service – 2003 – 2009
  • Table 116 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997; 1999 – 2009
  • Table 117 – Historic - ISDN subscribers – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 118 – Historic - VoIP connections – 2004 – 2009

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Leaders (top tier)
  • Chart 2 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Challengers (middle tier)
  • Chart 3 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Emergents (bottom tier)
  • Chart 4 – Overall view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 5 – Europe - mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 6 – Scandinavia and Baltics: mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 7 – Northern Europe –mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 8 – Southern Europe mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 9 – Eastern Europe mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 11 – Northern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 12 – Southern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 13 – Eastern Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 14 – Development of telecom market revenue, profit and investment – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 15 – Change in telecom market revenue by sector – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – Development of telecom investment by sector – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 17 – Change in interconnection revenue – 2009 - 2018
  • Chart 18 – Growth in the number of fully unbundled lines – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – Decline in the number of fixed numbers ported – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 20 – Decline in the number of Call by Call and CPS lines – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 21 – Change in the number of mobile numbers ported and proportion to total – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 22 – Development of mobile roaming revenue by service – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 23 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 24 – Change in mobile market revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 25 – Change in mobile sector investment (UMTS and total) – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 26 – Change in the market share of mobile subscribers by MNO – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 27 – Decline in the number of prepaid subscribers and market share – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 28 – Fall in the proportion Swisscom Mobile’ prepaid share to total – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 29 – Development of geographic coverage by mobile technology – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 30 – Change in SMS and MMS traffic – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 31 – Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 32 – Growth in mobile data traffic – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 33 – Decline in Swisscom Mobile blended ARPU – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 34 – Decline in Swisscom Mobile’s retail mobile revenue – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 35 – Change in Swisscom Mobile’s subscribers by type – 2006 – 2019
  • Chart 36 – Change in the number of Sunrise’s mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 37 – Development of Sunrise’s mobile revenue (CHF) – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 38 – Decline in Sunrise’s mobile ARPU – 2011 – 2019
  • Chart 39 – Development of Salt Mobile’s financial data (CHF) – 2010 – 2019
  • Chart 40 – Fall in Salt Mobile’s subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 41 – Change in MVNO’s market share of mobile subscribers – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 42 – Decline in the number of dial-up internet subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 43 – Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 44 – Change in the number of fixed broadband subscribers by platform – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 45 – Change in fixed-line broadband market share by platform – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 46 – Development of fixed-line broadband market share by operator – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 47 – Change in the number of fixed broadband connections by rate – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 48 – Change in the proportion of broadband connections by rate – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 49 – Change in the number of Swiss Digital’s broadband and telephony subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 50 – Growth in the number of Swisscom’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 51 – Growth in the number of Sunrise’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 52 – Change in the number of VDSL accesses – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 53 – Growth in the number of fibre connections by type – 2009 – 2017
  • Chart 54 – Change in the market share of fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 55 – Development of fixed-network revenue – 2009 – 2017
  • Chart 56 – Development of Swisscom Group’s financial data – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 57 – Development of Swisscom’s domestic financial data by sector – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 58 – Change in the number of Swisscom’s domestic fixed-voice, mobile, IPTV subscribers – 2008 – 2019
  • Chart 59 – Development of Sunrise’s revenue by service (CHF) – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 60 – Change in the number of Sunrise’s subscribers by sector – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 61 – Development of UPC Switzerland’s financial data – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 62 – Change in the number of UPC Switzerland’ broadband and telephony subscribers – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 63 – Change in the number of Swiss Digital’s subscribers by service – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 64 – Change in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2009 – 2024
  • Chart 65 – Decline in fixed line traffic by type – 2009 – 2017
  • Chart 66 – Decline in the number of ISDN subscribers by type – 2009 – 2017
  • Chart 67 – Increase in the number of VoIP connections – 2009 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Access and the local loop
  • Exhibit 3 – Mobile spectrum auction – 2012
  • Exhibit 4 – Mobile spectrum auction – 2019
  • Exhibit 5 – Decline in MTRs (CHF / minute) – 2016 - 2019

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