Market Research Logo

Switzerland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Researcher:- Henry LancasterCurrent publication date:- August 2010 (9th Edition)Next publication date:- August 2011


Switzerland’s regulated fibre-based NGN an example to EuropeBuddeComm’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 billion in 2009, showing a negligible 0.5% increase year-on-year compared to a near 8% increase between 2006 and 2007. This has reflected the lower consumer spend resulting from 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 such as MSPA and, since late 2009, LTE, as also in broadband infrastructure, although the liquidity crisis coupled with and lower operator revenue during the past two years have reduced the cash available. Overall investment fell 14.3% in 2008, year-on-year, and was expected to have fallen by a further 5% in 2009, though figures for both 2010 and 2011 should show a rebound as the liquidity crisis eases and consumer confidence - and higher spending on telecom services - returns.

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 addition, mobile networks operators in Switzerland do not have to contend with regulated voice and data roaming tariffs, as do their EU counterparts, and so have been able to charge their customers higher rates for these services. There is little prospect that Swiss mobile customers will secure relief from this regulatory anomaly in the near future.

Switzerland has one of the highest Internet 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 from 30Mb/s to 100Mb/s - in the process enabling it to test broadcast Switzerland’s first 3D TV programming - 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. In addition, operators have agreed on uniform technical standards, the laying of multiple fibres (at least four) in every building (the multiple fibre model, much copied elsewhere in Europe), and 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.

Market highlights:Swisscom retains a lead in the fixed network voice market but competitors will continue to capture market share through VoIP and cable telephony offerings. In addition, the multiplicity of bundled offers from UPC and other providers, including a number of free call minutes, will further lower the number of Swisscom’s PSTN lines in coming years, thus placing further pressure on the company’s revenue.Competitor access to Swisscom’s lines through LLU has been more tightly regulated in recent years, with the result that the number of affected lines has grown rapidly since 2009. However, the investment commitment by Swisscom and regional utilities in building a fibre-based national infrastructure may reduce further investment by ISPs in equipping exchanges. The focus for both the regulator and operators has since shifted to NGN access.The regulator’s 2009 spectrum review included releasing digital dividend spectrum in the 790MHz to 862MHz range for mobile services from 2015, as also enabling LTE services in the 2.6GHz band. The spectrum awards will significantly expand mobile broadband to rural areas that cannot be served economically by fixed-line networks, and so help shift the few customers dependent on WiMAX and satellite services to mobile networks.UPC has become one of the top players in Europe for network infrastructure, with its 100Mb/s Fiber Power offerings being a market leader in Switzerland. This has prompted Swisscom to commit up to CHF2 billion in fibre infrastructure alone to 2015 in a bid to keep in competition and avoid customer churn.Digital switchover in Switzerland has progressed well, with analogue services in German and many French speaking regions having ended. The national digital transmitter network, completed at the end of 2008, had made its possible to receive DVB-T signals throughout the country. With analogue TV transmissions to close by the end of 2010, sub-1GHz spectrum will be made available for mobile broadband and other uses ahead of many other European countries.Switzerland - key telecom parameters - 2009; 2011

Sector | 2009 | 2011 (e) |
Broadband: |
Fixed broadband subscribers (million) | 3.16 | 3.62 |
Fixed broadband penetration rate | 34% | 37% |
Mobile broadband subscribers (million) | 2.4 | 3.1 |
Subscribers to telecoms services: |
Fixed-line telephony (million) | 4.78 | 4.6 |
Mobile phone (million) | 9.25 | 10.2 |
Mobile penetration (population) | 119% | 129% |
(Source: BuddeComm)
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics


2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Switzerland’s telecom market
2.2 Government ICT strategy
2.2.1 E-Government
2.2.2 Economic stimulus


3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 History
3.2 Regulatory authorities
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Switzerland
3.4 Privatisation of Swisscom
3.5 Interconnect
3.6 Leased lines
3.7 Access
3.7.1 Bitstream access
3.8 Number portability
3.9 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
3.10 Universal Service Obligation (USO)


4. Fixed Network Operators
4.1 Market overview
4.2 Swisscom
4.2.1 Company reorganisation
4.3 TDC Switzerland (Sunrise)
4.4 Abandoned Orange - Sunrise merger
4.5 UPC


5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network


6. Broadband Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Government strategy
6.1.2 Universal Service Obligation (USO)
6.1.3 Broadband statistics
6.2 Cable modems
6.2.1 UPC
6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.3.1 Swisscom
6.3.2 TDC Switzerland
6.3.3 Cybernet
6.3.4 VDSL
6.3.5 Naked DSL
6.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.4.1 Regulatory measures
6.5 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
6.6 Wireless broadband
6.6.1 Wireless LANS (WLAN)
6.6.2 Mobile broadband
6.6.3 Satellite


7. Digital Media
7.1 Overview of media convergence
7.2 Key general trends
7.3 Business models
7.3.1 Bundled services
7.4 Regulatory issues
7.4.1 VoIP
7.5 Digital TV (DTV)
7.5.1 Overview
7.5.2 Broadband (IPTV)
7.5.3 Cable TV
7.5.4 Satellite
7.5.5 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
7.5.6 Digital Terrestrial TV
7.5.7 Interactive TV (iTV)
7.5.8 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
7.5.9 VoIP


8. Mobile Communications
8.1 Overview of Switzerland’s mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.1.2 Mobile market shares
8.2 Regulatory issues
8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
8.2.2 Number portability
8.2.3 Fixed-to-mobile call charges
8.2.4 Roaming
8.3 Mobile technologies
8.3.1 Digital
8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
8.4 Major mobile operators
8.4.1 Swisscom Mobile
8.4.2 Sunrise
8.4.3 Orange
8.4.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
8.4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
8.5 Mobile voice services
8.5.1 Prepaid cards
8.6 Mobile Messaging
8.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
8.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
8.7 Mobile data services
8.7.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
8.7.2 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
8.7.3 High-Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD)
8.7.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
8.7.5 Long-term evolution (LTE)
8.7.6 BlackBerry
8.7.7 iPhone
8.7.8 Mobile TV
8.8 Mobile applications
8.8.1 Location-based services
8.8.2 Mobile ticketing


9. Forecasts
9.1 Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2012; 2020
9.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
9.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
9.2 Mobile forecasts - 2009 - 2013; 2015
9.2.1 Forecasts - mobile ARPU - 2009 - 2013; 2015
9.2.2 Forecasts - UMTS subscribers - 2009 - 2013; 2015


10. Glossary of Abbreviations


List of Tables & Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Switzerland - 2010
Table 2 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2009
Table 3 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - June 2010
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - June 2010
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - June 2010
Table 7 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 - Fixed telephony connections - 2000 - 2011
Table 9 - Telecom sector revenue, profit and investment - 2000 - 2010
Table 10 - Interconnection revenue - 2000 - 2009
Table 11 - Unbundled lines - 2008 - 2010
Table 12 - CPS as proportion of total lines - 1999 - 2010
Table 13 - CPS lines - 2002 - 2008
Table 14 - Share of fixed-line connections by operator - 2007 - 2008
Table 15 - Fixed-line revenue - 2000 - 2011
Table 16 - Cable fixed-line telephony connections - 2003 - 2011
Table 17 - Swisscom Group net revenue, EBITDA and net income - 2004 - 2010
Table 18 - Swisscom (Switzerland) financial data by sector - 2007 - 2010
Table 19 - Swisscom subscribers by sector - 2007 - 2010
Table 20 - TDC Switzerland financial data - 2006 - 2010
Table 21 - TDC Switzerland revenue by type - 2006 - 2010
Table 22 - TDC Switzerland subscribers by sector - 2005 - 2010
Table 23 - UPC financial data - 2005 - 2010
Table 24 - UPC operational data: home and subscriber statistics - 2006 - 2010
Table 25 - Fixed lines in service, teledensity and traffic in minutes - 1997; 1999 - 2011
Table 26 - ISDN subscribers - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
Table 27 - Dial-up Internet subscribers - 2000 - 2011
Table 28 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2010
Table 29 - Total broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2000 - 2011
Table 30 - Broadband penetration by technology - 2004 - 2010
Table 31 - Broadband market share by operator - 2007 - 2008
Table 32 - UPC broadband offers - 2010
Table 33 - DSL accesses by main provider - 2004 - 2009
Table 34 - DSL market share by main provider - 2004 - 2009
Table 35 - Swisscom ADSL subscribers - 2003 - 2010
Table 36 - Swisscom dial-up subscribers (historic) - 2003 - 2007
Table 37 - Sunrise broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2010
Table 38 - Fibre subscribers - 2007 - 2011
Table 39 - Broadband powerline connections (historic) - 2001 - 2004
Table 40 - Broadband satellite connections - 2008 - 2009
Table 41 - Digital TV subscribers - 2008 - 2010
Table 42 - Analogue and digital TV market share by platform - 2009
Table 43 - Swisscom IPTV subscribers - 2006 - 2010
Table 44 - Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate - 2002 - 2011
Table 45 - VoIP lines and traffic in minutes - 2004 - 2010
Table 46 - Mobile investment, UMTS and total - 1998 - 2011
Table 47 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2010
Table 48 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2011
Table 49 - UMTS subscribers - 2005 - 2011
Table 50 - Mobile revenue - 2000 - 2011
Table 51 - Share of subscribers by operator - 2005 - 2010
Table 52 - Mobile numbers ported - 2000 - 2008
Table 53 - Mobile termination charges by operator - 2006; 2009
Table 54 - European roaming charges - 2007 - 2012
Table 55 - Voice roaming charges by operator - June 2010
Table 56 - International data roaming rates - June 2010
Table 57 - Volume of roaming calls made, by destination - 2009 - 2010
Table 58 - Swisscom Mobile blended ARPU - 2006 - 2010
Table 59 - Swisscom Mobile revenue - 2003 - 2010
Table 60 - Swisscom Mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2010
Table 61 - TDC Sunrise subscribers - 2004 - 2010
Table 62 - TDC Sunrise revenue and annual change - 2006 - 2010
Table 63 - Orange mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2010
Table 64 - Orange revenue - 2005 - 2010
Table 65 - Orange annualised ARPU - 2006 - 2010
Table 66 - Orange mobile data as percentage of revenue - 2003 - 2010
Table 67 - Price of voice calls made, by destination - 2009 - 2010
Table 68 - Prepaid subscribers and market share - 1998 - 2011
Table 69 - Swisscom Mobile contract and prepaid subscribers - 2006 - 2010
Table 70 - Swisscom Mobile prepaid share of subscribers - 1998 - 2010
Table 71 - Swisscom Mobile sent SMS and MMS - 2007 - 2010
Table 72 - SMS, PSMS traffic and annual change - 2002 - 2010
Table 73 - Average price of SMS - 2009 - 2010
Table 74 - MMS, premium MMS traffic and annual change - 2003 - 2009
Table 75 - Mobile Internet traffic (historic) - 2003 - 2006
Table 76 - Mobile data volume, by destination - 2009 - 2010
Table 77 - Average price per MB sent - 2009 - 2010
Table 78 - Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers - higher market growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2020
Table 79 - Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers - lower market growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2020
Table 80 - Forecast mobile ARPU - 2009 - 2013; 2015
Table 81 - Forecast UMTS subscribers and penetration rate - 2009 - 2013; 2015
Exhibit 1 - Access and the local loop
Exhibit 2 - Overview of media convergence
Exhibit 3 - BlackBerry services defined

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report