Swisscom and UPC in TV freebie battle

13 Nov 2012

Switzerland’s largest telco by subscribers Swisscom will offer its DSL customers free access to basic IPTV services in a bid to compete with cable-based rivals, Broadband TV News reports. The free service consists of 60 channels, 22 of which are available in high definition (HD) and will require a Swisscom TV Box which will be made available from 1 December. Existing Swisscom TV subscribers meanwhile will receive a boost to the number of channels available up to a total 110.

Swisscom’s move is believed to be a direct response to plans put forward by its nearest competitor in the broadband market, US-backed UPC Cablecom, to drop encryption on 55 TV channels (19 HD) from 1 January 2013. As a result, customers will be able to view the channels with any digital TV reception device and without a smartcard. The cableco will eliminate the current CHF4 (USD4.22) per month fee currently being charged for the service, and will boost its minimum broadband speed to 2Mbps for no extra cost.

Switzerland, Sunrise (formerly Sunrise UPC), Swisscom