Switzerland gears up for 5G network launches

Swisscom and Sunrise have announced 5G network plans for tapping the smartphone users and enterprises in Switzerland.
Telecoms and digital transformationSwisscom, Sunrise and Salt have paid 380 million Swiss francs or $379 million for buying 5G spectrum during the auction in Feb 2019.

Swisscom offered 195.5 million francs; Salt 94.5 million francs and Sunrise 89.2 million francs for parts of the frequencies, which will be assigned for 15 years.


Swisscom has revealed that its 5G network will cover the whole of Switzerland by the end of the year.

Swisscom also announced four end devices for sale. 5G devices will be available from Oppo (from May), LG (from May), Samsung (from July) and Huawei (third quarter) to support 5G services from Swisscom.

Oppo Reno 5G, its first 5G smartphone powered by Qualcomm chipset, will be available from May in the Swisscom Shop.

Existing inOne mobile smartphone subscriptions already support 5G. Swisscom customers, who are looking for more 5G speed, can buy a Premium Speed option for CHF 10 per month.

Urs Schaeppi, CEO of Swisscom, said: “Swisscom combines the possibilities of 5G with the Internet of Things, the cloud or data analytics. Companies can benefit from this. They can save costs and take advantage of new opportunities.”

Swisscom will activate the 5G network as soon as the Federal Office of Communications grants the licence. Swisscom’s technology partner for the 5G network is Sweden-based Ericsson. The first 5G devices run on a proven frequency in the 3.5 GHz band, which was previously used for outdoor TV reports.

3.5 GHz spectrum band is designed to achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbit/s (5G-fast). During the media event, Swisscom demonstrated a peak speed of 1.86 Gbit/s.

Swisscom already offers Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) via the 4G network for SMEs and enterprise customers. FWA makes fast Internet connections possible without a fixed network connection. Software developer Edorex is already using Swisscom’s 5G Campus Network Solution to connect employees via 5G.

Salt Mobile

Salt Mobile, Switzerland’s third-largest mobile carrier, has selected Nokia in order to upgrade its radio and mobile core network in readiness for 5G. Salt is likely to launch 5G in the third quarter of 2019.

Salt Mobile made an investment of CHF 586.7 million towards capital expenditure (Capex) during the last two years as part of its strategy to expand the coverage of mobile and FTTH infrastructure.

Nokia is supporting Salt Mobile for the 5G network expansion.


Sunrise, the main rival of Swisscom, announced its plans to provide Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service to 5G users in Switzerland.

Sunrise said it is the first operator to offer 5G FWA service for its individual and business customers in Switzerland. Sunrise also plans to launch 5G smartphone and 5G HD IPTV services in 2019. Huawei is assisting Sunrise in building the 5G network.

The first Sunrise 5G pioneer started using Sunrise Internet Box 5G, which is 10 times faster than fixed networks. “5G for People is closing the digital divide in Switzerland and making Switzerland Europe’s pioneer in digital infrastructures,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of Sunrise.

Sunrise said its 5G coverage is available in more than 150 cities / villages across Switzerland.

5G customers need an Internet Box 5G to access 5G speed. Internet Box 5G is free to Sunrise customers in Switzerland. Sunrise’s 5G customers can connect PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones to the Sunrise Internet Box 5G via WiFi at home or in the office and start surfing at 5G speeds.

Sunrise could not reveal the number of 5G smartphones available on its 5G network in the coming months. Sunrise is also slow in terms of announcing its 5G data price plans for its smartphone customers.

Switzerland uses frequencies that were previously used for radio and TV transmission (700 MHz) or those in the WLAN range (2.4/5 GHz) for 5G. Switzerland does not use frequencies in the microwave range (>26 GHz).

Baburajan K