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The Swisscom 5G story

A vision for 5G

The story behind Ericsson’s and Swisscom’s co-design of 5G first, 5G fast and 5G wide

The Swisscom 5G story

If service providers do not change their way of working, they will find it difficult to earn money from 5G. Through the Joint Mobile Group with Ericsson, we now play an even bigger role in setting the pace of innovation and formulating this new 5G ecosystem. This is the way of working and it is helping us to develop revenue opportunities in segments that we did not think would be possible.

A story of Swiss innovation

At a tenth the size of California, Switzerland is a relatively small country with a high acumen for innovation. Over the past ten years, the alpine confederation has consecutively topped the Global Innovation Index, thanks to a combination of a strong local R&D network, a bourgeoning startup scene and a significant number of patent applications delivered year on year.

Executive summary
“Even though Swiss engineering can be a little too precise sometimes, like with our watches; our technology firsts show that if it can work here in Switzerland, it really can work anywhere.”
- Klaus Liechti, Senior 5G Program Director at Swisscom

In April 2019, Swisscom became the first to launch commercial 5G in Europe. Since then, the leading service provider has hit 5G milestone after milestone, together with Ericsson, as part of its commitment to unleash faster 5G speeds for Swiss consumers and enterprises. Today, Swisscom delivers 5G coverage to 96% of the Swiss population – and still continues to build out both 5G capacity and coverage across dense urban hotspots, remote alpine regions and major transport routes.

In May 2021, Swisscom strengthened its long-term strategic partnership commitment to Ericsson with a deal including 5G Standalone (SA) rollout. 5G SA will enable Swisscom to deliver superior network performance and new use cases to its customers. As Swisscom prepares to introduce 5G SA, we take a closer look at the past, present and future of the groundbreaking Swisscom 5G vision.

“If you want to have the best network, you also have to prove it,” says Klaus Liechti, Senior 5G Program Director at Swisscom. ”Today, we have several 5G contracts with large business customers in the areas of public safety, transport, health and construction. To drive those use cases forward, we know it is important to be first. This is not always easy of course, and we must put in a lot of effort to test again and again and tick all the boxes.”

Year Milestones
2016 Joint 5G Mobile Group founded with Ericsson
June 2017 First 20Gbps 5G prototype
July 2018 First Fixed Wireless Access 5G tests
Sept 2018 First 3GPP 5G network
Nov 2018 First 5G smartphone prototype with Qualcomm
April 2019 First large-scale 5G commercial network in Europe
July 2019 Install first indoor 5G Ericsson Radio Dot
Nov 2019 First 5G low- and mid-band Ericsson Spectrum Sharing call
Dec 2019 First to 90% + 5G population coverage
Dec 2020 First 5G standalone voice and data call
“5G is a new ecosystem and you have to play with that ecosystem.”
- Patrick Weibel, Head of Swisscom’s 5G Program
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