03 December 2002
Swisscom Fixnet's goal is to successively cover as much of Switzerland as possible with its ADSL offering. Until now this has not included open-wire lines. Open-wire lines are telephone lines positioned above ground and connected by masts. Open-wire lines are more exposed to external influences than underground cables and therefore more susceptible to interference. Over the last few months Swisscom Fixnet Wholesale has been identifying and intensively testing open-wire lines. The results of the tests show that the risk of interference is low and that ADSL technology can now be deployed in open-wire lines.
ADSL puts Swisscom in strong competition with the cable network operators. With a total of around 160,000 activated accesses in the Swiss market (at end-October 2002), ADSL is proving increasingly popular with SMEs (small and mid-sized enterprises). Compared to other Internet access technologies, ADSL offers many advantages: speed, availability, ease of use, reliability (telephone networks are among the most stable infrastructures in the world) and security (point-to-point connectivity between the user and the provider). On top of its hitherto ADSL offering (for residential customers), Swisscom Fixnet Wholesale launched a new package this autumn for business customers. The business offering covers bandwidths ranging from 512 kbit/s to 2 Mbit/s.
The approximately 400,000 open-wire lines (out of a total of 560,000) that are now ADSL-compatible provide coverage for around 95 per cent of the Swiss population. In a few exceptional cases ADSL cannot be installed due to technical constraints in the Swisscom network or where the distance between the telephone exchange and the access is too great. Swisscom is pushing ahead with equipping the exchanges with the requisite infrastructure. Swisscom Fixnet provides very good coverage compared to other European countries, thereby underlining its competitiveness in an attractive future market.
Berne, 3 December 2002