Sunrise lowers Capex as it faces 5G network roll out issues

Sunrise has lowered its Capex to CHF 83 million in Q1 2020 as compared with CHF 134 million in Q1 2019. Sunrise said its Capex will be CHF 410-450 million in 2020 despite challenges in the roll out of 5G network in Switzerland.
Sunrise subscriber growthSunrise today said the mobile operator’s 5G network will cover 535 cities and towns in the 3.5 GHz bands by beginning of May and 90 percent of population with 5G in the 700 MHz bands until Q3.

The Federal Council makes the 5G rollout challenging for engineers with its decision of not changing the limit values for non-ionising radiation and the delay of the execution guidelines for handling adaptive antennas. This will worsen the quality of Switzerland’s networks,” Andre Krause, CEO of Sunrise, said.

The ARPU of Sunrise fell to CHF 30.7 in the first quarter of 2020 from CHF 31.1 in the same period in 2019.

Sunrise said the post-paid ARPU reduction of CHF 1.5 was mainly driven by the continued secondary SIM dilution as well as promotion and retention discounts and product mix effects.

The post-paid subscription base totalled 1,925 thousand subscribers as of March 31, 2020 as compared with 1,772 thousand on March 31, 2019.

Sunrise said mobile pre-paid revenue fell due to a decreasing subscription base and lower ARPU (CHF 0.8).

Increase in OTT usage as well as high value prepaid customers migrating to post-paid are the main factors that led to the ARPU decrease. The prepaid subscription base shrank 10.9 percent to 532 thousand subscribers as of March 31, 2020, mainly related to pre-paid to post-paid migration.

Sunrise said revenue from mobile services increased 1.4 percent to CHF 306 million. Mobile post-paid revenue rose 4.5 percent due to increase in post-paid subscription base (8.7 percent) and led to a total mobile services revenue increase.