Telecoms firms awarded 5G mobile frequencies

A press conference to announce the results of the auction was held on Friday © KEYSTONE / ANTHONY ANEX


The Swiss government has raised CHF380 million ($379 million) from auctioning fifth-generation (5G) mobile radio frequencies, it said on Friday.

This content was published on February 8, 2019 - 09:57

The three Swiss main providers, Swisscom, Sunrise Communications and privately owned Salt, each received part of the spectrum after newcomer Dense Air dropped out of the bidding.

“The awarding of frequencies is therefore of key importance for the digitalisation of Switzerland and is in line with the Federal Council’s ‘Digital Switzerland’ strategy,” said a statementExternal link released by the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom).

“In addition to powerful mobile communications, 5G will enable many new uses in future, including the Internet of Things (IoT), medical applications (eHealth), image-processing applications (virtual reality, augmented reality) or self-driving vehicles. Switzerland is one of the first countries in Europe to already provide the 5G frequencies to network operators.”

5G is 100 times faster than 4G. It’s a wireless connection built specifically to keep up with the proliferation of devices that need a mobile internet connection. The first 5G applications will be available in 2020 or 2021, allowing higher data transfers with shorter response times.

Swisscom offered CHF195.5 million, Salt CHF94.5 million and Sunrise CHF89.2 million for their blocks of the frequencies.

The frequencies will be assigned for 15 years, with money raised going towards the Swiss treasure as extraordinary revenue.

Salt saidExternal link it was “extremely satisfied” with the outcome of the auction, which it said would help improve its services to customers in Switzerland. Swisscom saidExternal link it considered the price to be a long-term investment in the future of the mobile market, while Sunrise hailed its “clever bidding strategy” that enabled it to acquire “the most important bands at a favourable price”.

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