Swisscom tests 5G in remote village

10 Jul 2018

State-backed full-service provider Swisscom has begun trialling 5G technology in Guttannen, a remote mountain village in the Bernese Oberland, to test how the platform could improve connectivity for households in isolated areas. The operator notes that the village only has around 300 residents but, covering an area of more than 200 square kilometres, is one of the canton’s largest communities. As such, Swisscom described developing infrastructure for the area as ‘challenging’, noting that it is currently served by an LTE mast, whilst 184 buildings are connected via copper lines to an exchange in the village centre. An upgrade to fibre-to-the-street (FTTS) is planned for 2021, but even then a number of isolated homes will not be covered and will require an alternative means of connection. In these cases, Swisscom is hoping to use 3.5GHz 5G technology to provide fixed-wireless broadband access. Project Manager Reto Straumann commented on the trial programme: ‘It is important to Swisscom that mountain regions also enjoy good coverage. This is why we are also trialling the possibilities of 5G in Guttannen, and not only in the big cities.’

Switzerland, Swisscom