Swisscom CTO Heinz Herren on 5G investment

Heinz Herren, CIO and CTO of SwisscomSwisscom CTO and CIO Heinz Herren has revealed the telecom operators investment strategy for 5G networks.

The Capex (capital expenditure) of Swisscom has touched $2.4 billion owing to the company’s rollout of broadband in Switzerland.

Swisscom in partnership with Telecom Italia plans to upgrade its network in 29 cities, resulting in 3 million households connected with fibre to the home (FTTH).


Heinz Herren says Swisscom is driving forward the development of 5G network. Swisscom will launch two new access technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) – Narrow Band-IoT and LTE Cat-M1 — next year.

Swisscom, as part of its IoT investment strategy, aims to ensure the availability of the low power network (LPN) to 90 percent of the Swiss population by the end of 2017. Swisscom will conduct tests on Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE Cat-M1 technologies in 2017 and launch commercial services in 2018.

In May, Swisscom became one of the first telecom providers in the world to launch network function virtualization (NFV) service for companies. Swisscom will test a prototype with its industry partner Ypsomed this year and carry out the first field trials in 2018.
Swisscom and 5G

Swisscom offers 4G+ to 40 percent of the Swiss population with speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s and this figure will increase to 67 percent in 2017. Swisscom also covers 15 percent of the population with speeds of up to 450 Mbit/s.

Swisscom plans to phase out 2G technology in 2020 to ensure there are sufficient free frequencies for the further expansion of the 4G/LTE network and the rollout of 5G.

Swisscom has combined four different LTE frequencies in the cities of Zurich, Berne, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, Lugano, St. Gallen, Lucerne, Sion, Chur and Fribourg for offering high speed Internet.


Swisscom is the first telecom operator in Switzerland planning to carry out field trials on network slicing in 2018 – enabling allocation of guaranteed network resources in future for individual 5G and 4G applications.

Swisscom is also testing 5G speeds in a test environment for the first time in Zurich. The technology from Ericsson provides transmission capacity of over 20 Gbit/s in a radio cell.

Customers can try out 5G at the Swisscom Shop on Fusslistrasse in Zurich and enjoy over 800 Mbit/s Internet speed using the latest smartphones.

Swisscom has deployed a mobile base station – with antenna and two terminal devices – in the test application from Ericsson’s 5G development centre in Sweden. This 5G prototype enables speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s to be achieved twice in parallel on the mobile network.

Swisscom can increase capacity of the mobile radio cell and distribute to several phone customers. A customer could use the entire speed alone, or 20 customers could share the frequency and surf using 1 Gbit/s each. Swisscom is planning commercial launch of 5G technology in 2020.

“We are making targeted investment in the development of 5G to ensure we continue to provide our customers with the best mobile communications experience in Switzerland in future. We are already the first provider in Switzerland to present 5G applications with our partner Ericsson,” said Swisscom CTO and CIO Heinz Herren.