Berne, 13 June 2012
Seven years ago, Swisscom introduced Natel liberty, an hour-base tariff for mobile telephony, which meant that customers no longer needed to worry about the duration of their calls. However, the popularity of smartphones is leading to a change in customer requirements: While most customers see telephony and texting as part of everyday life, e-mail, apps and video services such as YouTube are becoming ever more important. Current mobile tariffs, where providers charge according to call duration and data volume, will not be able to keep pace with this development. The new Natel infinity subscriptions meant that customers will no longer need to worry about how often or how much they call, text or surf. The subscriptions will cover all calls in Switzerland, all SMS messages sent and unlimited surfing, which will create transparency as the subscription price generally corresponds to the amount of the monthly bill. The new subscriptions will have low fixed prices of between CHF 59 and CHF 169 per month and customers will continue to receive a mobile phone at a reduced rate. The subscriptions will be available from 25 June.
Today’s mobile subscriptions generally include a limited volume of data, meaning that additional costs are often incurred where this is exceeded. However, surveys of Swisscom customers have shown that they are unable to visualise megabytes and often do not know how much data they send and receive. As a result, they restrict their usage to avoid extra charges. The new Natel infinity subscriptions will render this unnecessary, as they will include data traffic. The offerings will be the first to offer a choice of transmission speeds, which are easier for customers to understand.
Customers will in future only pay for the speed they require. While some mainly use apps and e-mail on their mobiles, others want to view YouTube videos while on the move. This places differing requirements on the mobile network and so the new subscriptions will be billed by Swisscom in a similar way to domestic DSL connections, with those who do not require high-speed surfing paying less than those needing higher speeds.
Natel infinity is only the first step for Swisscom. Later this year, the youth subscriptions are to be modified, along with subscriptions for customers who do not require mobile internet on their mobile. The new subscription structure will also have an impact on fixed network offers, which will be reviewed by Swisscom in the coming months.
Swisscom customers already benefiting from telephony, Internet and television via the Vivo Casa bundled offering will be able to save when on the move with the new subscriptions. The Tutto benefit means that they pay up to CHF 25 less per month for their Natel infinity subscription. Bundled offerings are in great demand, with around 659,000 using these offerings at the end of March 2012.
The new offerings will allow the majority of customers to make savings, despite their rising usage. In recent years, price erosion at Swisscom has varied between CHF 400 - 500 million per year. This price erosion will continue this year, with the majority of it the result of the new mobile tariffs. The influence of the new tariffs was accounted for in the forecast for this year, which means that the anticipated net revenue of CHF 11.4 billion and EBITDA of CHF 4.4 billion for 2012 continue to apply.
Swisscom is able to offer its customers worry-free mobile usage and subscriptions differentiated by speed because of its excellent infrastructure. According to independent network tests conducted by Connect und Kassensturz, Swisscom has the best mobile network in Switzerland. Swisscom is overhauling its mobile network to ensure that it continues to offer its customers the best network. Swisscom will therefore invest around CHF 1.5 billion over the next five years and also press ahead with the expansion of 4G. Swisscom customers will thus be able to enjoy increased network capacity and faster connections.