Swisscom info and facts – Swisscom tests innovation for the ultra-fast broadband network

Berne, 19 October 2017

Huawei Switzerland and Swisscom are collaborating to push the limits of data transfer on short copper cables combined with fibre optics. Since August 2017, Swisscom has been one of the first ICT companies in the world to test Multiline with vectoring in its laboratory, thanks to an innovation partnership that is breaking previously unimaginable ground. The upshot is that bandwidths of up to 5 Gbit/s are now just around the corner.

As part of an innovation partnership, Swisscom has been testing technology with vectoring on two lines (Multiline) since August 2017 and is one of the first ICT companies in the world to do so. is an extension of and significantly increases bandwidth. Introduced in autumn 2016, is now an important component of Swisscom's technology portfolio. Around 70,000 homes and offices already benefit from bandwidths of up to 500 Mbit/s with, with more customers coming on board all the time. Like, is delivered via an active network element that is connected to fibre optics and converts the optical signal into an electromagnetic one. The signal is routed to the customer via existing copper cables from this network element, which is located close to buildings in the street or in the cellar of larger buildings. is extending the boundaries of possibility even further and can offer gigabit bandwidths on short copper cables. "The partnership with Swisscom enables us to continually improve on the latest technologies and align them with the needs of telecom providers. For a better-connected Switzerland.”, says Haijun Xiao, CEO of Huawei Switzerland.



Promising laboratory results

Initial results from the Swisscom laboratory are very promising and demonstrate’s huge future potential. With optimal distance and cable quality, bandwidths of between 1 and 5 Gbit/s were achieved. Due to the very high frequency of 500 MHz, the technology requires that the copper cable from the fibre optic/copper transition point is no more than 100 metres in length, making it particularly suited to Swisscom’s Fibre to the Building network architecture.


A decision has still to be made on whether the technology will be implemented by Swisscom, but the chances are high, as Heinz Herren, Swisscom CTO and CIO emphasises: “Ten years ago, any engineer worth their salt would have shaken their head in disbelief at talk of gigabit bandwidths on copper cables combined with fibre optics. Who would have imagined that we would come so far in such a short time? At Swisscom, we are constantly looking for new technologies that can be used to expand our network capacities more efficiently, quickly and cheaply. This means that our customers will soon benefit from higher bandwidths and digital advances. Thanks to the broad technology portfolio that is already in place today, Swisscom is well-positioned to plan an upgrade to cover almost all of Switzerland by 2021, including densely populated areas as well as the countryside. is a promising option for further optimising the expansion in future.”


Swisscom, together with Huawei Switzerland, is also making a strong case for the new technology on an international level. Swisscom is playing a significant role in ongoing discussions related to ITU telecommunication standardisation (International Telecommunication Union).

Potential areas of application for

Swisscom technology portfolio