02 December 2003
From mid-February 2004 Swisscom is to double the current ADSL bandwidths for residential customers. In addition, an offering with 2'400/200 Kbit/s (download/upload) will be launched. By the end of the year over 500'000 customers will be using ADSL and geographic coverage will be increased to 98%, which corresponds to some 4 million fixed network accesses.
The ADSL boom continues apace. The 500'000th access will be activated at Swisscom around the middle of December. This underlines ADSL's leading position among broadband Internet access technologies. Thanks to continued network expansion, high-speed ADSL connections can now be activated on 98% (previously 95%) of fixed network accesses. This means that a further 120'000 accesses are now ADSL-enabled.
The bandwidths of the two current offerings for residential customers are to be doubled. Instead of 300/50 and 600/100 Kbit/s, ADSL customers can now surf at 600/100 and 1'200/200 Kbit/s. Existing customers will automatically receive the enhanced performance. The charges billed by Swisscom Fixnet Wholesale to the Internet providers will not be increased. In addition, an offering with 2'400/200 Kbit/s is to be introduced. The new bandwidths will be available for new and existing customers from mid-February 2004.
Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest growth rates in broadband Internet accesses. And ADSL is continuing to expand its market share among Internet access technologies. At the end of 2001 the number of ADSL customers in Switzerland was just 33'000, at the end of 2002 195'000 and by the end of 2003 the number of customers will exceed 500'000. Swisscom is expecting coverage of 17% of all three million Swiss households by the end of the year, which corresponds to 34% of households with Internet access. "We are delighted by the surge in ADSL accesses and expect another boom year in 2004," forecasts Adrian Bult, CEO of Swisscom Fixnet. "The first signs of market saturation will only become noticeable in 2005."
For Swisscom, the growth opens up an attractive market for new offerings, for instance in the field of multimedia. Swisscom intends to meet this demand by means of more new services in the future.
Internet access via ADSL, i.e. using existing phone lines, offers major benefits: Users can be online 24 hours a day and have complete cost control thanks to fixed pricing; ADSL allows users to make phone calls and surf the Internet simultaneously and thanks to the point-to-point connection between the Swisscom exchange and the ADSL subscriber the level of security is higher than with comparable technologies. Swisscom Fixnet Wholesale does not offer ADSL directly to the end customer; this is provided by some 30 Internet providers in Switzerland.
Bern, 2 December 2003