Swisscom faces delay in 5G network expansion due to govt’s resistance

Swisscom said on Thursday it is facing delay in the rollout of its 5G mobile network due to the governments’ resistance to installing upgraded antennas.
Swisscom CEO Urs Schaeppi on 5GState-controlled telecoms group is planning a capital expenditure of around 2.3 billion in 2020 mainly focusing on 5G network expansion.

The Swiss government this month kept current safety standards for mobile frequency emissions, which the sector said needed to be amended to foster rollout of 5G technology a year after a spectrum auction raised 380 million Swiss francs.

It is essential to renew existing antennas and build additional ones with 5G+ in order to exploit the potential of 5G to transmit data up to 1,000 times more efficiently and thus save energy.

Due to current restrictions, such as moratoria in some cantons, the expansion of the mobile network is faltering, which means that the creation of urgently needed capacity for both 4G and 5G is also being held up, Swisscom said in a statement.

Swisscom said damage such as data queues and data jams would not be felt until some time in the future, calling for authorities to create better conditions for network development and mobile communications infrastructure.

Swisscom won four independent mobile network tests in the first quarter of 2020 with CHIP, PC Magazin/PCgo, Ookla and nPerf. Since the end of 2019, Swisscom has supplied 90 percent of the Swiss population with 5G coverage with speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

As at end-March 2020, the nationwide coverage of Swisscom’s 4G/LTE network was 99 percent. More than 97 percent of the Swiss population surf at speeds of up to 300 Mbps, more than 72 percent at speeds of up to 500 Mbps, and some 27 percent at speeds of up to 700 Mbps, Swisscom said.