Swisscom’s midband “5G+” service uses frequencies at 3.5 GHz
Swiss operator Swisscom said it has turned up its midband-spectrum-based “5G+” service on 2,230 antennas in 985 locations.
During the first half of the year, Swisscom added a total of 255 midband-enabled antennas nationwide.
The telco’s 5G+ service uses frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band. Swisscom also currently covers 99% of the country’s population with 5G that uses Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, which borrows capacity from its LTE spectrum.
However, in its earnings statement, the European carrier said that certain bureaucratic barriers in the country are not enabling a quicker rollout of 5G services in Switzerland.
“To ensure high network quality while demand continues to grow rapidly, the fifth generation of mobile communications needs to be rolled out quickly; 5G is more powerful, more efficient and more sustainable than its predecessor technologies. This makes it all the more concerning that Switzerland cannot fully exploit the potential of 5G,” the carrier said, going on to add that “Recent measurements by Opensignal show that smartphone users in Switzerland receive a poorer signal strength when connecting to 5G networks than mobile customers in neighboring Germany, France and Italy. Opensignal cites the much stricter limits than in the European Union countries as the reason. However, the expansion of the mobile network is faltering in many places due to objections, and the creation of urgently needed capacities for both 4G and 5G is being delayed.”
Swisscom also said that it had connected 4.9 million or some 90% of homes and businesses in Switzerland to its 80 Mbps network by the end of June 2022. Over 4.1 million or 76% of homes and businesses also now have access to 200 Mbps service, the operator reported.
Swisscom previously said it aimed to double FTTH coverage to around 60% in Switzerland by 2025 using P2MP (point-to-multipoint) architecture. However, the company pointed out that Switzerland’s Competition Commission “questioned the network architecture and imposed precautionary measures in December 2020” that were confirmed in 2021. Swisscom said it is “interested in a rapid solution” and “holding in-depth discussions with the Competition Commission.”
For the six-month period to June, Swisscom posted a net income of CHF 785 million ($815.5 million) compared with CHF 1.04 billion in the same period the previous year.
Swisscom also reported net revenues of CHF 5.49 billion, compared with CHF 5.58 billion recorded in H1 2021.
For the full fiscal year 2022, the Swiss telcom still expects net revenues of CHF 11.1 billion to CHF 11.2 billion. The carrier also continues to project capital expenditure of around CHF 2.3 billion for full 2022.
The carrier’s 5G network was commercially launched in April 2019 using equipment from Swedish vendor Ericsson. In an initial phase, the 5G technology was launched 54 cities and communities in Switzerland, including Zürich, Bern, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Lucerne.
Swisscom used Ericsson Spectrum Sharing software that shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand to reach nationwide 5G coverage with 5G-ready 4G radios.