Swisscom is the Swiss market leader in the field of telecommunications. It is also one of the biggest stock-exchange-listed companies in Switzerland and is listed on the country’s leading Swiss Market Index (SMI). Since acquiring Fastweb in 2007, Swisscom’s international activities have been concentrated mainly in Italy. Fastweb is one of Italy’s largest broadband telecoms companies. Swisscom’s majority shareholder with a stake of 51.2% is the Swiss Confederation, which by law must hold a majority of the capital and voting rights. Swisscom’s corporate strategy is focused on strengthening the company’s core business, which relies on a high-performance, secure and always-available infrastructure. Swisscom is also looking to grow, by offering differentiated products and services and by increasing the use of ICT. Major investments in network infrastructure ensure that Swisscom will continue to satisfy customer needs well into the future. Sustainable management and long-term responsibility are firmly enshrined in the company’s corporate culture. Swisscom owes its business success to the dedication and commitment of a 20,000-strong workforce, which continually strives to develop new solutions for customers and the information society. Swisscom continuously invests in staff training and development, and is training more than 900 apprentices in Switzerland.
Switzerland accounts for
82 % of net revenue
Switzerland accounts for
86 % of EBITDA
Swisscom generates over 80% of its net revenue and operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from business operations in Switzerland. The company offers a full portfolio of products and services for fixed-line telephony, broadband, mobile communications and digital television throughout Switzerland, and is mandated by the federal government to make basic telecoms services available to all sections of the population throughout Switzerland. Swisscom offers corporate customers a comprehensive range of communications solutions as well as individually tailored solutions. Swisscom is also a leading provider specialising in the integration and operation of IT systems in the fields of outsourcing, workplace, SAP and finance services. Customers can purchase their products and services via a range of sales channels. They can check out products and services first hand and receive comprehensive advice in Swisscom’s own shops as well as in numerous partner outlets. They can also obtain product information and order products and services at anytime online via the Swisscom website. In the digital customer centre, which is also accessible via the Internet, customers can manage their personal details, subscriptions and bills on their own. Swisscom fosters close ties with all stakeholder groups: shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, the general public, public authorities and, above all, its customers. It has long been committed to its Swiss roots and endeavours to ensure that all citizens benefit from leading-edge technologies. This is reflected in Swisscom’s solution-oriented approach, which is geared to serving the common good as well as the interests of the company.
In Switzerland, all core-business products and services are offered under the Swisscom brand. Outside Switzerland, notably in Italy, Swisscom operates under the Fastweb brand. Swisscom also operates under a range of other brands in related business fields.
Swisscom has consistently pursued a strategy of growing the Swisscom brand from a telecoms and IT brand to an integrated brand positioned more broadly to cover the entire spectrum of telecoms, IT, media and entertainment. The success of Swisscom TV in particular has confirmed the Swisscom brand’s competence in the field of digital entertainment. New products such as the iO app have enabled Swisscom to further strengthen the innovative character of the brand, which is now firmly established as a trusted companion for customers in a rapidly changing digital world and conveys the company’s strong competence in the field of ICT.
Customer surveys show that the Swisscom brand is among the most trustworthy of Swiss brands. It is perceived as authentic, reliable and of a high quality, is firmly anchored among consumers and scores by far the highest ratings in the “top of mind” survey, well ahead of the competition. The brand’s strength was once again confirmed in the year under review in a comparison of leading Swiss brands. According to the Interbrand “Best Swiss Brands 2013” study, the value of the Swisscom brand has increased by some CHF 0.2 billion to CHF 5.0 billion, putting it in sixth place on the list of Switzerland’s most valuable brands.
The traditional cornerstones of the Swisscom brand are quality, trust and service. Swisscom’s daily contact with customers and its commitment to sustainability, which it honours continuously through numerous initiatives and activities, featured again as themes in the company’s communications in 2013 and served to enrich the brand’s image.
Swisscom’s network infrastructure
Network infrastructure in Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the best IT and telecoms infrastructures in the world. According to an OECD study, Switzerland leads the world in terms of broadband penetration (43.4%), ahead of the Netherlands and Denmark (source: OECD Broadband Portal, July 2013). In mobile communications, broadband coverage now extends to practically the entire population, making Swisscom the biggest network operator in Switzerland by far, both in the fixed and mobile network.
The fixed network comprises two levels: an access network and a transport network. The access network consists of over 1,500 local exchanges and around 3.4 million subscriber access lines to end customers. Swisscom started many years ago to upgrade the fixed network with fibre. In a first step, fibre-optic cables were laid between the local exchanges, from where they were extended to neighbourhood cabinets (FTTC – Fibre to the Curb). Most subscriber access lines consist of copper cables. Depending on the underlying technology, over 91% of households and businesses can receive Swisscom TV, over 85% in high-definition quality. Many large companies and office complexes have enjoyed fibre connections for some years now. Since autumn 2008, Swisscom has been extending access to residential customers (Fibre to the Home, FTTH) and to small and medium-sized enterprises. By the end of 2013, some 750,000 homes and businesses were connected with FTTH. This figure is set to rise to around a million or around a third of all households in Switzerland by the end of 2015. FTTH rollout is generally carried out in conjunction with local partners – mainly power utility companies, cable network providers or municipalities. Swisscom has concluded over 20 partnership agreements to date which in many cases have been contractually committed.
Compared with the previous year, data volume grew by
1.7 billion Swiss francs
Additional partnership agreements were signed in 2013 and further agreements are at an advanced stage. In addition to investing in FTTH, work is under way, laying fibre-optic cables to within a short distance of individual homes and businesses using the new Fibre to the Street (FTTS) technology. The use of vectoring technology as an intermediate step is expected to almost double network performance from 2014, enabling the rapid and cost-effective nationwide rollout of ultra-fast broadband.
In mobile communications, Swisscom has access to a frequency spectrum covering all common frequency bands between 800 MHz and 2,600 MHz, so that over the longer term it will be able to deploy GSM, UMTS and LTE technology as and when the need arises. All mobile frequencies for the period up to the end of 2028 were newly allocated or allocated for the first time in an auction conducted in February 2012. As a result of the auction, Swisscom now has access to 42% of the entire mobile spectrum. It has also equipped all of its sites with mobile antennas using second- or third-generation technologies such as EDGE, UMTS or HSPA/HSPA+. And in 2012, Swisscom became the first mobile provider in Switzerland to launch fourth-generation LTE technology on a commercial basis. Swisscom will be able to use LTE (which supports high bandwidths) as a future alternative to the fixed network in more remote-lying areas. By the end of 2013, Swisscom had already extended LTE coverage to 85% of the Swiss population, and nearly a million Swisscom customers were regularly using the new high-speed LTE network. LTE penetration now stands at 15%. Data traffic throughout the mobile network is doubling practically every 12 months, compared with 16 months in the fixed network. The volume of data in the fixed network, however, is 35 times greater than in the mobile network.
Swisscom is continually expanding its broadband network, extending the product range and increasing the number of antenna sites. Swisscom is committed to deploying modern, needs-appropriate technologies in order to ensure efficiency and compliance with contemporary zoning requirements while also minimising emissions. Swisscom’s rollout of LTE technology marks a further important step into the future. Wherever possible, site expansion is coordinated with third-party mobile providers; Swisscom already shares around 22% of its nearly 6,800 antenna sites with other providers. And with over 2,000 hotspots in Switzerland, Swisscom is also the country’s leading provider of public wireless local area networks.
In a bid to improve efficiency, Swisscom is not only investing in latest-generation networks but also systematically dismantling earlier-generation networks.
Network infrastructure in Italy
Fastweb’s network infrastructure consists of an all-IP fibre-optic network spanning a total distance of over 36,000 kilometres. Fastweb reaches more than half of the Italian population with its own fixed-network infrastructure, with more than two million or 10% of urban households and businesses connected by Fibre to the Home (FTTH). Fastweb plans to expand its fixed-network infrastructure by an additional three and half million households and businesses. Under a partnership agreement with Telecom Italia, Fastweb intends to invest around EUR 400 million in fibre-optic expansion up to the end of 2016. This will be done by rolling out Fibre to the Street (FTTS) so as to provide some 20% of homes and businesses in Italy with access to ultra-fast broadband by the end of 2016.
Fastweb does have not a mobile network of its own, but offers proprietary services based on an agreement with other mobile operators (MVNO).