Swisscom ends 2021 with almost 2,000 5G+ antennas

5G telco

Swiss operator Swisscom said it closed 2021 with 1,975 antennas in 888 locations with its mid-band-based 5G+ technology.

The telco said that its 5G service using 3.5G Hz spectrum currently reaches 62% of the Swiss population. Swisscom also currently covers 99% of the country’s population with a 5G using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, which borrows from its LTE network.

“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. 4G is now almost a decade old and is increasingly reaching its limits. But the expansion of the mobile network is stalling in many places, and the creation of urgently needed capacity for both 4G and 5G is being delayed,” the telco said in a statement.

Swisscom had connected 4.8 million or some 90% of homes and businesses in Switzerland to its 80 Mbps network by the end of 2021. Over 3.9 million or 72% of homes and businesses also now have access to 200 Mbps service, the operator said.

Swisscom said it aimed to double FTTH coverage to around 60% in Switzerland by 2025, but said the intervention by the authorities would make such a feat significantly more expensive and would reduce the planned coverage to 50%.

“The original expansion target of creating around 1.5 million fiber-optic connections by 2025 would thus be reduced by a third, or around 500,000 homes and offices,” the operator said.

In 2021, the group’s overall revenue increased by 0.7% year-on-year to CHF 11.2 billion ($12.1 billion). In Switzerland, revenue fell by 0.2% to CHF 8.2 billion, while the Italian business reported year-on-year revenue growth of 3.8% to 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion). In Italy, Swisscom owns local telco Fastweb.

For the 2022 financial year, Swisscom is forecasting net revenue of CHF 11.1 billion-CHF 11.2 billion, EBITDA of around CHF 4.4 billion and capital expenditure of around CHF 2.3 billion

The carrier’s network was commercially launched in April 2019 using equipment from Swedish vendor Ericsson. Initially, the new 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.

In February 2019, Switzerland’s Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) had raised CHF380 million after it awarded 5G frequencies to local mobile operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom.

Swisscom secured 30 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 120 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 50 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz band.

Salt secured 20 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 80 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 10 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz range.

Meanwhile, Sunrise purchased 10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band, 100 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz range and 15 megahertz in the 1.4 GHz band. The carrier also secured an additional 10 megahertz in the 700 MHz band.