Swisscom set out ambitious plans for its commercial 5G launch, detailing strategies for both its network rollout and device availability, although it still awaits a green light for the move.
At an event today, CEO Urs Schaeppi (pictured) said: “As soon as we obtain the concession rights we will switch on 5G. Everyone is in the same boat in Switzerland, not just us.”
At launch, the network will encompass 100 sites in 50 cities and villages, but Swisscom said it is targeting more than 90 per cent population coverage by the end of the year. The operator is working with Ericsson as its equipment supplier.
It indicated it is ready to flick the switch once it receives permits.
“Of course, in the beginning this will be used by early adoptors, but it will be enlarged and upgraded, and by the end of the year we will have the whole of Switzerland covered,” Schaeppi said.
The first available device will be a version in Oppo’s Reno smartphone line, which itself was unveiled today at a separate event in China. Available in May with a CHF999 ($998) price tag, the operator said its existing inOne subscriptions will include 5G, although a CHF10 per month Premium Speed option will also be available.
Oppo’s device will be followed by smartphones from LG (also from May), Samsung (July) and Huawei (Q3).
In a statement, tech giant Qualcomm said a number of the device makers working with Swisscom (Oppo and LG for smartphones; Askey and WNC for in-home equipment) are using its X50 modem technology.
Swisscom’s first 5G devices use 3.5GHz spectrum and during a media event speeds of up to 1.86Gb/s were demonstrated. Lower frequency bands will be added to deliver the wider coverage it is targeting.
In a statement, Schaeppi also talked up the potential of 5G for enterprises and his company’s position with this: “The full potential of 5G will initially be exploited by companies. This requires a full-service provider like Swisscom, who combines the possibilities of 5G with the IOT, the cloud or data analytics.”
Swisscom and its peers picked up 5G frequencies late in 2018. Rival Sunrise is in the early stages of offering a fixed wireless access service.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back