Switzerland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
Swisscom launches 1Gb/s FttP service, plans to extend fibre to one million premises by 2015
Switzerland currently has the highest broadband penetration rates in the world. It also has a competitive mobile market served by a triopoly of international players. The country’s mountainous topography helped to establish a number of cable networks, and although in recent years DSL became the preferred means for accessing broadband and bundled services the platform’s dominance is being eroded by the rapidly emerging fibre-optic sector, spearheaded by Swisscom and a number of regional utility companies. 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 a statistical profile of Switzerland’s fixed network, ass assessing the regulatory environment and noting the status of local loop unbundling as well as the provision of broadband as a universal service. It also evaluates the strategies and performance of major service providers Swisscom, UPC Cablecom and Sunrise, and looks ahead to market developments in coming years.
In the broadband sector, UPC Cablecom’s extension of 100Mb/s services since 2010 has spurred Swisscom to intensify its VDSL network rollout as well as invest more fulsomely in its national fibre network in a bid to remain competitive. To this end, Swisscom has set aside for fibre networks a significant proportion of its planned CHF8 billion infrastructure investment to 2015. Much of this has been facilitated by cooperative deals struck with regional utilities. The report profiles the main players in the DSL, cable, fibre and wireless sectors, detailing technological developments for the provision of bundled services. It also provides subscriber forecasts to 2020 and examines regulatory issues surrounding municipal fibre, legislation providing for local loop unbundling, and the provision of broadband as a universal service.
Switzerland’s digital TV infrastructure supports one of Europe’s more developed markets for converged media. Many areas of the country have switched from analogue to digital TV transmission, paving the way for digital dividend spectrum to be used for other services including mobile TV and mobile broadband.
The mobile market has undergone considerable change in recent years, with two of the three mobile network operators changing ownership. The second player Sunrise, having had its merger with Orange blocked by regulatory authorities, was acquired by a private equity firm and has since bought up two of the main MVNOs in the market. Mobile penetration is on a par with the European average while mobile data use among consumers has increased rapidly. Operators have upgraded their networks with high-end mobile technologies in a bid to encourage consumer use of mobile data services, thus providing some stability to otherwise declining ARPU. The regulator has encouraged operators to collaborate on a shared LTE network, so reducing investment costs, while all MNOs had launched commercial LTE services by mid-2013. In addition, GSM spectrum has been allocated for 3G use, thus enabling network operators to extend their 3G reach. A range of spectrum bands auctioned in 2012 has further enhanced operator abilities to improve mobile broadband offerings. Mobile TV has also progressed, with Swisscom Broadcast having been awarded a national mobile TV licence using the DVB-H standard.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year