Technological innovations have always ensured the outstanding performance of the Swisscom network. We continually monitor developments and test new applications as early as possible so we can roll them out quickly when they are ready to market.
G.fast is the latest technology that allows us to greatly increase data transfer speeds in the fixed network.
The technology is particularly useful where there are no plans for a continuous fibre-optic connection – bandwidths of up to 500 Mbit/s are possible on very short copper lines already in place thanks to G.fast. The first customers were able to test the new technology at the start of 2015. We will introduce G.fast across the Swisscom network from the end of 2016 with an ongoing programme of expansion.
The next generation of mobile communication promises to change everything. It won't just be much faster. It will also respond in real time and enable applications that we can only dream of now. Together with our partners Ericsson and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), we are driving forward the next generation of mobile communication with our "5G for Switzerland" programme. Our goal: to introduce 5G on the Swisscom network in 2020.
In contrast to copper lines, fibre optics transfer information using pulses of light, making it the fastest transmission technology with almost unlimited capacity. Fibre-optic cables are mainly used for covering large distances, particularly for intercontinental data transmission. While it makes economic sense to connect new buildings and urban areas with fibre-optics right to the apartment, replacing existing copper lines across the country is not always the best solution. We are using a mix of different fibre-optic technologies in the fixed network to offer higher bandwidths everywhere as quickly as possible, using existing copper lines for the last few metres to the socket.
With DSL+LTE Bonding, we bundle bandwidths in fixed and mobile networks, increasing Internet speeds by up to 50 Mbit/s for residential customers. This is possible thanks to the "Internet Booster" Internet receiver that we have developed specifically for 4G/LTE mobile telecommunications. This enhances the Internet speed of copper lines (DSL) with fast 4G mobile Internet.
Some conditions pose particular challenges for the network. We won't stop until we find answers and satisfactory technical solutions. Some information on the most important challenges that we are working on intensively as a network provider.
Insulation in railway carriages obstructs mobile signal reception. We use signal boosters as well as internal and external antennas to improve reception. But when trains are full with 1,200 passengers travelling at 200 km/h and changing from one mobile phone cell to the next every 20 seconds, it can sometimes lead to connection problems.
Insulation in cars can weaken mobile signals significantly. For the best connections, we recommend connecting the smartphone with the car's external antenna. Even then, large traffic volumes or high speeds can still cause connection problems.
Modern, well-insulated buildings are often effective barriers for mobile phone reception. The solution: WiFi Calling. Thanks to WiFi Calling, Swisscom customers can use the WLAN network to make calls from their mobile phone when the mobile phone signal is weak.
The 48 mountains at 4,000 m above sea level and the alpine topography of Switzerland pose particular challenges for the network. Planning and construction of the fixed network and mobile network infrastructure are complex projects that span generations. Just like the mobile network, planning the expansion of the fixed network takes intuition. The technology mix we use allows us to provide a fast connection, even in remote areas.
Electromagnetic emissions limits in Switzerland are ten times stricter than elsewhere in Europe. Mobile phones, cordless phones and WLAN routers use electromagnetic frequencies to transmit information wirelessly. The low limits restrict the transmitting power of individual mobile communication masts.
Approval procedures for construction can delay the expansion of the network infrastructure. This is why we seek a dialogue with communities, authorities and anyone else involved to allow us to find the best possible solutions quickly and transparently.
5G is the next generation of technology for the mobile network. Although a 5G standard has not yet been defined, Worldwide testing is currently under way. Swisscom anticipates introducing 5G in Switzerland in 2020.
4G+/LTE Advanced enables a theoretical bandwidth of up to 450 Mbit/s on the mobile phone network. 4G/LTE frequencies are bundled to achieve the necessary capacities. We already provide speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s in more than 100 Swiss locations and up to 450 Mbit/s in some locations.
4G/LTE (Long Term Evolution)
4G/LTE is the successor to 3G technology. It represents the fourth generation of mobile technology. 4G currently enables mobile broadband data rates of up to 150 Mbit/s.
3G is the third generation of mobile technology and includes UMTS, HSPA und HSPA+.
2G is the second generation of mobile technology. It includes mobile technology such as GPRS, EDGE and GSM.
Carrier aggregation (frequency bundling)
Carrier aggregation is a way of increasing the data rate per user by connecting several frequency blocks together. It means a much larger number of users can use a radio cell simultaneously with higher speeds.
EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution)
EDGE belongs to the second generation of mobile communication technology and is a wireless modulation standard to increase the data rate of 2G mobile networks. EDGE enables data transfer speeds of up to 256 kbit/s. More than 99% of the Swiss population can access 2G today.
Belonging to the second generation of mobile technology, GPRS increases data transfer speeds in 2G mobile networks, achieving transmission speeds of between 30 and 40 kbit/s.
GSM network (Global System for Mobile Communications)
GSM is a second-generation global digital mobile telephony standard. As well as voice and data transmission, it supports services such as SMS and international roaming.
HSPA (High Speed Packet Access)
HSPA is a further development of the UMTS mobile telephony standard. HSPA allows a much greater number of customers than was possible with UMTS to use a radio cell at the same time and at a constantly high speed. A transfer rate of up to 14.4 Mbit/s is supported by HSPA.
HSPA+, also known as HSPA Evolution, is the expansion of HSPA for locations experiencing regularly high customer demand. Each radio cell offers a transmission capacity of up to 42 Mbit/s.
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)
UMTS is a third-generation international mobile telephony standard that combines mobile multimedia and voice services. Speeds of up to 384 kbit/s are possible with UMTS. The UMTS network reaches around 99% of the Swiss population today.