Sunrise revenues grow, boosts wireless speeds to 84Mbps

22 Nov 2012

Swiss full-service provider Sunrise has booked revenues of CHF517 million (USD548.4 million) for the three months to end-September 2012, up from CHF499 million in the corresponding period of 2011. Revenue growth was driven by the telco’s expanding mobile and fixed line customer base, backed up by an increase in ARPU for the quarter. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 0.6% year-on-year to CHF177 million, whilst CAPEX more than doubled to CHF64 million from CHF30 million in the year-ago period as the telco continues to invest heavily in fixed and wireless network development.

In the wireless sector, Sunrise reported net additions of 23,000 for the quarter, bringing the cellco’s total subscriber base to 2.14 million of which 1.167 million were post-paid subscribers (+9.1%) and 974,000 were pre-paid (-2.7%). ARPU was flat y-o-y at CHF46.1, but increased from CHF44.9 in Q2 2012. Fixed internet subscriptions also rose slightly, with the telco claiming 372,000 users at the end of September 2012, compared to 371,000 a year earlier, though unchanged from the previous quarter. Sunrise noted that the majority of its fixed internet users are double-play (xDSL and voice), though triple-play subscriptions were also on the rise. Internet ARPU dipped by CHF0.2 y-o-y to CHF35.9, having inched up from CHF35.8 three months earlier. Fixed voice services continued to fall in popularity, with Sunrise shedding 8,000 users during the quarter.

Sunrise added that it will be launching pilot Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in Zurich, Zug and in five winter sports locations: Saas Fee, Verbier, Zermatt, Flims and St. Moritz. The provider is aiming to stage a full commercial launch of the new platform in spring 2013, offering potential download speeds of up to 150Mbps in eleven municipal and urban areas. Sunrise is also in the process of upgrading its network to the UMTS900 standard, boosting coverage to 96% of the population and paving the way for a future increase in theoretical maximum transfer speeds to 84Mbps from its current peak of 42Mbps. The overhaul is due to be completed by the end of the year.

Switzerland, Sunrise Communications (Sunrise UPC)