Swisscom commands a leading position in the mobile, fixed, broadband and digital TV submarkets. It is also the market leader in IT services. In its traditional usage-based business, stiff competition and changing customer needs continue to erode prices and volumes. The resulting lower revenue and income need to be offset in order to ensure that sufficient financial resources are available for major investments in new technologies.
The ICT sector is characterised by the following key trends and developments:
- Everything always on: In a few years from now, Swisscom customers will be able to access all their private and work-related applications and data in real time using any digital device. This is changing customers’ usage behaviour and creating new business opportunities.
- IP-based telecommunications market: In future, to improve the customer experience and accelerate product development, all products and services will be operated based on Internet protocol. Digitalisation and mobility are changing business models and opening up many growth opportunities for telecoms service providers.
- Global competition: The number of Internet-based communications services available free of charge is growing apace. In recent years, new global competitors have entered the telecoms market. These worldwide OTT providers benefit from global economies of scale and are changing business models in the telecoms market.
Swisscom’s long-term “Swisscom 2020” strategy is aimed at maintaining Swisscom’s position in the ICT market and offering customers only the best:
Swisscom’s mission statement: a trusted partner in today’s digital world
The spread of IP technology is driving significant growth in the range of available products and services. As a result, Swisscom customers are demanding more personalised advice and services and expect even more from Swisscom in terms of customer service and support. As a trustworthy partner in the digital world, Swisscom helps customers feel secure and at ease, and enables them to find what they’re looking for quickly and simply, and to experience and achieve extraordinary things. Swisscom also helps business customers to create a flexible ICT infrastructure, and to optimise communication and collaboration among their employees.
Building the best infrastructure
The demands of Swisscom customers on infrastructure in terms of availability, quality and security are set to grow even further. With this in mind, Swisscom is aiming to accelerate technological transformation by switching from proprietary to open and more powerful technology systems and infrastructures. In the fixed network, the main priority is on continuing expansion of Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and on speeding up the rollout of Fibre to the Street (FTTS) outside of the major urban areas. In the mobile network area, Swisscom is driving forward expansion of fourth-generation LTE coverage. By investing heavily in these areas, Swisscom wants to provide its customers with an infrastructure that is second-to-none in terms of performance, security and quality.
The availability of a high-performance infrastructure is also a key competitive factor for telecoms providers in Italy. When Swisscom acquired Fastweb, it took over a provider that had invested in its own fibre-optic infrastructure over the years and was thus able to differentiate itself successfully in the marketplace. The competitive advantages are reflected in market share growth in both the residential and business customer areas. Fastweb will continue to invest in expanding the infrastructure in Italy in order to further boost market differentiation and significantly expand its geographical broadband reach.
Creating the best experiences
Swisscom aims to differentiate itself from the ever-growing global competition by offering innovative new products and services and is adjusting its business model in line with the changing market conditions. The change in business model driven by the Internet is prompting the development of new offerings and pricing models that are no longer usage- and volume-dependent. One example is Swisscom’s successful NATEL infinity pricing plans, which are proving extremely popular with customers due to their simplicity and transparency.
Outstanding customer experiences will further strengthen Swisscom’s position in the core business. For customers, the main priority is simplicity. Swisscom differentiates itself successfully on the market through innovative products and services. Examples in the residential customers area include the development of a new Internet box for speeds of 1 Gbps and ultra-secure surfing, or the cross-platform iO communications app which simplifies communications for users, allowing them to manage all calls, messages and conversations at a single location. In the business customers area, Swisscom has blazed new trails with its Mobile ID (a mobile-phone-based authentication solution available as a managed service) and Dynamic Computing Services (offering processing power and storage space from the cloud).
For business customers in particular, the main focus is on technological migration from conventional to voice-over-IP-based solutions. Swisscom attaches great importance to maintaining its position in the IP world by providing innovative end services. In order to offer customers a good customer experience from start to finish, Swisscom pays great attention to creating user-friendly products and services as early as the development stage.
Swisscom is committed to the ongoing transformation of the organisation, in order to ensure that resources can be deployed wherever their impact is greatest. Keeping the organisation as lean as possible and optimising processes will help to continuously improve the way in which resources are used.
Realising the best growth opportunities
The telecoms markets in Switzerland and Italy are expected to see moderate growth over the next few years. Driving factors will be population and household growth, higher spending on ICT, an increase in the number of networked devices per inhabitant and (especially in Italy) pent-up demand due to the relatively low level of broadband penetration. The increasing deployment of ICT is also transforming value chains in many sectors, giving rise to numerous growth opportunities both in the core business and in new business areas provided the relevant synergies and capabilities are in place.
Examples of growth opportunities in the residential customer area include the optimisation of Swisscom bundled offerings, expansion of the range of TV services, and new energy-related offerings. For Fastweb residential customers, the focus is on the partnership with Sky. Examples in the business customer area include the development of new vertical solutions for growth opportunities in the banking, healthcare and energy sectors, as well as new services in M2M, security and cloud computing, and communications and collaboration applications. One of the key aspects of Fastweb’s growth strategy is the development of an attractive Value Added Services (VAS) portfolio for business customers.
Forerunner in corporate responsibility
As part of its corporate strategy, Swisscom is aiming to become a global forerunner in the field of corporate responsibility. To this end, Swisscom intends to integrate ecological, social and economic aspects of sustainability in its core business. Various ratings in 2013 show that Swisscom has made further headway in this regard. Swisscom’s corporate responsibility activities, based on dialogue with stakeholder groups, are prioritised as follows: “Enabling sustainable living and working”, “Promoting sustainable use of resources”, “Providing telecommunications for all” and “Acting as a responsible employer”. By minimising internal energy and resource consumption, using electricity generated from renewable sources, imposing ecological and social standards on suppliers and acting as a responsible employer, Swisscom honours its responsibility towards the environment and the community at large. Swisscom supports customers in their pursuit of a sustainable way of living and working. This includes offering climate-friendly, low-radiation products and services to residential customers and Green ICT services to business customers. Another priority is to promote media skills by offering courses, including online courses. Swisscom is also looking to position itself as a responsible employer, as reflected in its commitment to social partnerships, new working models, measures to promote diversity and the ongoing expansion of its corporate volunteering activities.
Swisscom intends to differentiate itself even further and strengthen the confidence of relevant players in the ICT sector. In future, the ICT sector will be instrumental in creating sustainable solutions in key areas such as energy, mobility and healthcare, which will open up attractive new opportunities for growth for Swisscom.