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Switzerland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts


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

Regulator’s fibre price and access conditions to spur sector progress

BuddeComm’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 one of Europe’s more progressive markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data to the end of 2011, telcos’ financial and operating data to June 2012, and market developments to September 2012.

Telecom market overview

The Swiss telecom market has shown some weakening during the last few years as the country’s overall economy is dragged down by the region’s poor economic climate. In addition, revenue has been hit by the continuing effects of falling prices resulting from competition and regulatory measures. The number of fixed lines also continues to fall as consumers migrate to VoIP and mobile-only telecoms. Investments in the sector have been channelled to UMTS and 4G network upgrades as well as fibre-based networks, though such investments have been squeezed from liquidity issues and lower operator revenue. The regulator has endeavoured to encourage the deployment of fibre networks in coming years by regulating access conditions for Swisscom’s infrastructure and lowering wholesale pricing.

Mobile market

Auctions held in 2012 for spectrum in a variety of bands will considerably assist operators to deploy LTE networks in coming years: spectrum in the 800MHz band is available from the beginning of 2013, in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands from the beginning of 2015, and in the 2.1GHz band from the beginning of 2017. LTE has been trialled by Swisscom in a number of areas, with commercial services being based on Ericsson equipment. Orange Switzerland, recently sold by France Telecom, also planned to roll out LTE services in up to 10 cities by the end of 2012, followed by a pilot phase in early 2013 and a commercial launch in up to six cities by the end of 2013. The operator is investing more than CHF700 million to upgrade and expand its network, including the launch of LTE.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012

Subscribers by sector (thousand):

Fixed broadband subscribers | 2,900 | 3,180
Mobile telephony | 964 | 1,080
Fixed-line telephony | 4,380 | 4,150

Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband | 37% | 42%
Mobile | 122% | 128%
Fixed-line | 63% | 58%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

Multiple spectrum awards will greatly facilitate 4G services in coming years.
Pricing regulations for wholesale access to Swisscom’s network were upheld by the High Court in mid-2012, justifying the regulator’s programme to encourage competition in the sector and forestall a regulatory holiday for the incumbent.
UPC Cablecom’s plans to launch mobile services (as an MVNO) will strengthen its position in the rapidly progressing quad-play market.
A network building deal between Swisscom and the municipality of Laussane will see the city be connected with FttH by 2017.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Switzerland. It provides further information on:

Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
The impact of the global economic crisis;
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
ARPU statistics and forecasts.

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 eGovernment
2.2.2 eEconomy
2.2.3 eHealth
2.2.4 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 Market
4.1 Market overview
4.2 Swisscom
4.2.1 Company reorganisation
4.3 Sunrise
4.4 UPC Cablecom
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
6.1.3 eGovernment
6.2 Broadband statistics
6.3 Cable modems
6.3.1 UPC Cablecom
6.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
6.4.1 Swisscom
6.4.2 Sunrise
6.4.3 Cybernet
6.4.4 VDSL
6.4.5 Naked DSL
6.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
6.5.1 Regulatory measures
6.5.2 Network sharing
6.5.3 Swisscom
6.6 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
6.7 Wireless broadband
6.7.1 Wireless LANS (WLAN)
6.7.2 Mobile broadband
6.7.3 Satellite
7. Digital Media
7.1 Key general trends
7.2 Business models
7.2.1 Bundled services
7.3 Regulatory issues
7.3.1 VoIP
7.4 Digital TV (DTV)
7.4.1 Overview
7.4.2 Broadband (IPTV)
7.4.3 Cable TV
7.4.4 Satellite
7.4.5 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
7.4.6 Digital Terrestrial TV
7.4.7 Interactive TV (iTV)
7.4.8 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
7.4.9 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 Failed merger of Orange – Sunrise
8.4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
8.4.6 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 Mobile TV
8.7.7 M2M services
8.8 Mobile applications
8.8.1 Location-based services
8.8.2 Mobile ticketing
9. Forecasts
9.1 Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2012; 2020
9.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
9.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
9.2 Forecasts – mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2015
9.3 Forecasts – UMTS subscribers – 2005 - 2015
9.4 Notes on scenario forecasts
10. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Switzerland – 2012 (e)
Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2010
Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2011
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 5 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
Table 7 – National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 – Fixed telephony connections – 2000 - 2012
Table 9 – Telecom sector revenue, profit and investment – 2000 - 2012
Table 10 – Telecom revenue by sector – 1998 - 2012
Table 11 – Telecom investment by sector – 1998 - 2012
Table 12 – eCommerce spending by type – 2005 - 2009
Table 13 – Interconnection revenue – 2000 - 2010
Table 14 – Unbundled lines – 2008 - 2012
Table 15 – CPS as proportion of total lines – 1999 - 2010
Table 16 – CPS lines – 2002 - 2009
Table 17 – Share of fixed-line connections by operator – 2007 - 2010
Table 18 – Fixed-line revenue – 2000 - 2012
Table 19 – Fixed-line voice traffic – 2000 - 2012
Table 20 – Swisscable telephony subscribers – 2003 - 2012
Table 21 – Swisscom Group net revenue, EBITDA and net income – 2004 - 2012
Table 22 – Swisscom (Switzerland) financial data by sector – 2007 - 2012
Table 23 – Swisscom subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2012
Table 24 – Sunrise financial data – 2006 - 2010
Table 25 – Sunrise revenue by type – 2006 - 2010
Table 26 – Sunrise revenue and annual change – 2009 - 2012
Table 27 –Sunrise subscribers by sector – 2005 - 2012
Table 28 – UPC financial data – 2007 - 2012
Table 29 – Fixed lines in service, teledensity and traffic in minutes – 1997; 1999 - 2012
Table 30 – ISDN subscribers – 1999 - 2010
Table 31 – Internet household penetration by region – 2004; 2008, 2010, 2012
Table 32 – Dial-up internet subscribers – 2000 - 2012
Table 33 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 - 2012
Table 34 – Total broadband subscribers by type – 2000 - 2012
Table 35 – Broadband penetration by technology – 2004 - 2011
Table 36 – Broadband market share by operator – 2007 - 2010
Table 37 – Broadband lines by capacity – 2008 - 2010
Table 38 – Swisscable broadband and telephony subscribers – 2002 - 2010
Table 39 – Cable broadband lines by capacity – 2008 - 2010
Table 40 – UPC broadband offers – 2012
Table 41 – UPC financial data – 2005 - 2012
Table 42 – UPC broadband and telephony subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 43 – DSL accesses by main provider – 2004 - 2009
Table 44 – DSL market share by main provider – 2004 - 2009
Table 45 – DSL broadband lines by capacity – 2008 - 2010
Table 46 – Swisscom broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2012
Table 47 – Swisscom dial-up subscribers (historic) – 2003 - 2007
Table 48 – Sunrise broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 49 – Fibre subscribers – 2007 - 2012
Table 50 – Fibre broadband lines by capacity – 2008 - 2010
Table 51 – Broadband powerline connections – 2001 - 2009
Table 52 – Mobile broadband subscribers; data transferred – 2008 - 2009
Table 53 – Broadband satellite connections – 2008 - 2009
Table 54 – Subscribers by bundled service – 2007 - 2009
Table 55 – VoIP subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 56 – Swisscom IPTV subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 57 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2012
Table 58 – Swisscable cable TV subscribers by type – 2003 - 2012
Table 59 – UPC operational data: home and subscriber statistics – 2008 - 2012
Table 60 – Satellite services revenue – 2000 - 2012
Table 61 – VoIP lines and traffic in minutes – 2004 - 2012
Table 62 – Mobile sector investment, UMTS and total – 1998 - 2011
Table 63 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – June 2012
Table 64 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2014
Table 65 – UMTS subscribers – 2005 - 2011
Table 66 – Mobile revenue – 2000 - 2012
Table 67 – Mobile voice traffic – 2000 - 2012
Table 68 – Share of subscribers by MNO – 2007 - 2010
Table 69 – Mobile spectrum auction – 2012
Table 70 – Mobile numbers ported – 2000 - 2010
Table 71 – Mobile termination charges by operator – 2006; 2009 - 2011
Table 72 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2012
Table 73 – Voice roaming charges by operator – 2011
Table 74 – 3G subscribers – 2005 - 2012
Table 75 – Swisscom Mobile blended ARPU – 2006 - 2012
Table 76 – Swisscom Mobile revenue – 2003 - 2012
Table 77 – Swisscom Mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 78 – Sunrise subscribers – 2004 - 2012
Table 79 – TDC Sunrise revenue and annual change (DKK) – 2006 - 2010
Table 80 – Sunrise mobile revenue (CHF) – 2009 - 2012
Table 81 – Orange mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2011
Table 82 – Orange mobile revenue, annual change – 2005 - 2011
Table 83 – Orange ARPU – 2006 - 2011
Table 84 – Orange mobile data as percentage of revenue – 2003 - 2011
Table 85 – Prepaid subscribers and market share – 1998 - 2011
Table 86 – Swisscom Mobile contract and prepaid subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Table 87 – Swisscom Mobile prepaid share of subscribers – 1998 - 2012
Table 88 – Swisscom Mobile sent SMS and MMS – 2007 - 2012
Table 89 – SMS, PSMS traffic and annual change – 2002 - 2012
Table 90 – Average price of SMS – 2009 - 2010
Table 91 – MMS, premium MMS traffic and annual change – 2003 - 2012
Table 92 – Mobile internet traffic (historic) – 2003 - 2006
Table 93 – Mobile data volume, by destination – 2009 - 2010
Table 94 – Average price per MB sent – 2009 - 2010
Table 95 – Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
Table 96 – Forecast fixed-line broadband penetration – higher market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
Table 97 – Forecast fixed-line broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
Table 98 – Forecast fixed-line broadband penetration – lower market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
Table 99 – Forecast mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2015
Table 100 – Forecast UMTS subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2015
Chart 1 – Fixed telephony connections – 2000 - 2012
Chart 2 – Telecom sector revenue, profit and investment – 2000 - 2012
Chart 3 – Swisscom Group net revenue, EBITDA and net income – 2004 - 2012
Chart 4 – Swisscom (Switzerland) financial data by sector – 2007 - 2012
Chart 5 – Sunrise revenue and annual change – 2009 - 2012
Chart 6 –Sunrise subscribers by sector – 2005 - 2012
Chart 7 – UPC financial data – 2007 - 2012
Chart 8 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2002 - 2012
Chart 9 – Total broadband subscribers by type – 2000 - 2012
Chart 10 – UPC financial data – 2007 - 2012
Chart 11 – DSL market share by main provider – 2004 - 2009
Chart 12 – Swisscom ADSL subscribers – 2003 - 2012
Chart 13 – Fibre subscribers – 2003 - 2012
Chart 14 – Swisscom IPTV subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Chart 15 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2012
Chart 16 – VoIP lines and traffic in minutes – 2004 - 2012
Chart 17 – Orange mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2011
Chart 18 – Prepaid subscribers and market share – 1998 - 2011
Chart 19 – Swisscom Mobile contract and prepaid subscribers – 2006 - 2012
Exhibit 1 – Access and the local loop
Exhibit 2 – Overview of digital media convergence

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