Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland’s economic integration has meant that its telecom market deregulation has followed the EU’s liberalisation framework, including recent regulations on international roaming.
Switzerland has Europe’s highest broadband penetration rate. The country benefits from universal DSL infrastructure and an expansive cable broadband network, with effective cross-platform competition. The DSL sector is dominated by Swisscom’s retail offerings, while UPC Cablecom also offers cable broadband in most cities and towns, and its extension of 250Mb/s services since 2014 has spurred Swisscom to intensify its VDSL and FttP network rollouts 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.
There has been a government focus on broadband deployment of ‘ultra-fast’ broadband, or that defined as at least 100Mb/s. This depends on the growing footprint of fibre, LTE and DOCSIS technologies. By the 2020, DOCSIS and fibre are expected to deliver 100Mb/s services to at least 80% of the population, while LTE should provide national coverage by that date.
The mobile market has undergone a number of changes in recent years, with the Orange Switzerland being acquired by NJJ Capital in February 2015, Sunrise being acquired by a private equity firm which completed an IPO in early 2015, and with the main cableco UPC Cablecom entering the mobile market as an MVNO, thus being able to provide a quad-play bundle and so compete more effectively with Sunrise and Swisscom. Mobile penetration is on a par with the European average while mobile data use among consumers has increased rapidly in line with the expended reach of technologies including HSPA and LTE. Customer use of mobile data services is helping to offset declining ARPU and lower traffic in the SMS segment as consumers adopt a range of OTT messaging services. The regulator has encouraged operators to share LTE infrastructure, so reducing investment costs, while all MNOs have launched commercial LTE services and have extended LTE-A technologies to increase data throughput. By early 2015 Orange had upgraded much of its LTE infrastructure to LTE-A, offering data at up to 300Mb/s. In addition, spectrum assets held by licenses have been successfully refarmed following the 2012 auction, so consolidating holdings. A further refarming exercise affecting the 2100MHz band is due in 2016.
A new BuddeComm report presents an analysis of Switzerland’s telecom market, including profiles of the main players in the fixed-line, DSL, cable, fibre and wireless sectors. It details technological developments, provides broadband subscriber forecasts to 2020, and examines regulatory issues related to municipal fibre, local loop unbundling, and the provision of broadband as a universal service. The report also assesses the country’s mobile market, including regulatory measures, profiles of the main providers, and analyses on service offerings, developments in mobile TV and emerging technologies.
For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Switzerland – Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media
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