Swisscom aims for nationwide 5G coverage by year-end, devices to hit market next month

11 Apr 2019

State-owned full-service provider Swisscom has announced that it will begin selling its first 5G-compatible devices from next month, whilst commercial 5G services will begin as soon as the Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom) grants it the requisite licences. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Swisscom won 120MHz of unpaired 3500MHz spectrum plus 2×15MHz in the 700MHz range and 50MHz of supplementary downlink (SDL) frequencies in the 1400MHz band at auction in February this year. In addition, the company said it would expand its 5G network to cover the whole of Switzerland by the end of the year. From May, Swisscom will begin selling its first 5G device, Oppo Reno 5G, whilst a handset from LG will become available later that month, followed by devices from Samsung (July) and Huawei (Q3 2019). These initial devices operate on the 3500MHz band and support theoretical peak download speeds of up to 2Gbps, and Swisscom has demonstrated top data transfer rates of 1.86Gbps over the technology. Regarding its network expansion plans, the cellco claims that it will make 5G available in ‘cities, the countryside and mountain regions’ by the end of the year, by using ‘frequencies that permit extensive coverage’ – presumably the 700MHz band airwaves that it won earlier this year.