Sunrise and Salt set up FTTH venture to boost broadband biz

Sunrise and Salt announced to create a fiber to the home (FTTH) venture for rolling out fast broadband connectivity services across Switzerland.
Optical fiber investmentSunrise and Salt will form a 50-50 joint venture called Swiss Open Fiber. Swiss Open Fiber targets to reach 1.5 million of homes passed in the coming 5-7 years, for a total investment of up to CHF 3 billion.

Sunrise Communications and French billionaire Xavier Niel’s Salt Mobile will invest up to 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.09 billion) in the broadband partnership aimed at reaching 1.5 million homes by 2027.

The latest development will enable Sunrise, blocked by shareholders last year from buying Liberty Global’s Swiss UPC unit, to take on state-owned Swisscom, Switzerland’s largest telecommunications provider.

Marc Furrer, former president of the Federal Communications Commission ComCom, will be the chair of Swiss Open Fiber.

This project follows a proven concept that is being implemented in several countries such as Germany, France and Italy. Network roll-out operations are expected to be initiated in the 4th quarter of 2020.

Andre Krause, CEO of Sunrise, said: “This platform is open and transparent to the market and we are extremely happy to have secured Marc Furrer, the most distinguished expert in the domestic market, to chair Swiss Open Fiber.”

Pascal Grieder, CEO of Salt, said: “We have an ambitious roll-out plan and encourage municipalities and utilities looking into FTTH deployment to reach out to us.”

Swiss Open Fiber will collaborate with Swiss Fibre Net (SFN), who will support the set-up and operating activities in a partnership.

The accelerated FTTH roll-out will benefit all SFN partners and customers, Andreas Waber, CEO of SFN, said.