Switzerland’s fixed line incumbent, and largest mobile operator by subscribers, Swisscom, has announced that it is rolling out a pilot Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in seven tourist destinations, starting with Davos, which achieved connectivity earlier this week. The telco plans to deploy LTE technology in six more areas over the next two months, namely: Grindelwald, Gstaad, Leukerbad, Montana, Saas Fee and St. Moritz/Celerina. Swisscom intends to continue expanding the pilot network from January 2012, but is awaiting the redistribution of wireless concessions in 2012 before making precise plans. Through launching pilot networks in busy areas, Swisscom hopes to garner knowledge and experience to guide the deployment of LTE technology throughout Switzerland. Packages and deals for customers using the network are currently being developed by the telco.
A nationwide deployment of a dual core high speed packet access (DC-HSPA+) network, which can achieve potential download speeds of 42Mbps, was also slated, although no details were forthcoming. A DC-HSPA+ network would add to Swisscom’s growing list of technical innovations in the Swiss wireless market. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Swisscom was the first cellco to introduce 3G and 3.5G technology, with the nation’s first W-CDMA network in November 2004, and a high speed download packet access (HSDPA) platform in December 2006.