Core business declines but Swisscom gets set for 5G fillip | Major Businesses | Business
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Swisscom has revealed that it has paid 196 million Swiss francs to acquire the frequency bands needed for the future 5G network that it plans to roll out by the end of 2019 and which, amid a mixed picture among existing lines, it pins big hopes on.

Swisscom 6Apr2018The frequency ranges purchased by Switzerland’s incumbent telco are needed to operate the new 5G network and to expand the capacity of the 4G network. The radiocommunication licence recently awarded by the nation’s regulator is valid for 15 years.

“By building the 5G network, we are contributing to improving the competitiveness of Switzerland as a centre for business,” noted Swisscom CEO Urs Schaeppi. “We want to inspire people in the networked world, whether they are in the city or in the countryside...The first 5G-enabled devices are expected to reach the Swiss market in the next few months and will allow customers to enjoy higher speeds, faster response times and better capacity.”

The investment in 5G comes as the company reported what it called a solid financial year but one that showed a declining Swiss core business. At the end of the year ended 31 December2018, Swisscom Group reported revenues of $11.7 billion, stable at the prior-year level (+0.4%). In its Swiss core business, revenue slipped 2.7% to of CHF 8.8 billion largely attributed to persistent price pressure in various segments and to the downward trend in fixed-line telephony.

On a brighter note, at the end of 2018, Swisscom had connected around 4.2 million homes and businesses to its ultra-fast — that is in excess of 50 Mbps — broadband service (speeds). Some 2.9 million homes and offices had connections with bandwidths of more than 100 Mbps. Swisscom intends to make ultra-fast broadband available in every Swiss municipality by the end of 2021, even in remote locations.

More than half of residential customers had opted of the for inOne mobile, online, TV and telephony package. Swisscom added that the number of TV and broadband connections continues to increase, while demand for bundled offerings were said to remain high.

The financial statement revealed At the end of the year, Swisscom’s inOne customers numbered 2.33 million, which is 988,000 more than in the previous year. This means that inOne covers 54% of all mobile subscriptions and 57% of fixed-line broadband connections. Even though it said its markets for broadband and TV were saturated, Swisscom saw TV connections increase by 52,000 (3.5%) to 1.52 million.