Swisscom will provide 80 percent of all the households in Switzerland with ultra-high-speed Internet access by no later than 2020. While fibre-optic cables are being rolled out directly to homes and businesses in many towns and larger municipalities, Swisscom is focusing on Fibre to the Street (FTTS) in areas away from major urban centres. Swisscom has now selected Huawei as its strategic partner and supplier for its FTTS expansion.
From the end of 2013, Swisscom will offer not only Fibre to the Home (FTTH) but also ultra-fast Internet and multimedia services, even in areas which will not be connected to FTTH in the coming years. To this end, Swisscom is laying fibre-optic cabling to within about 200 metres from buildings (Fibre to the Street, FTTS) and using the existing copper cables to cover the remaining distance. FTTS enables bandwidths of up to 100 megabits per second. In the next three to four years, bandwidths of 400 megabits per second or more will become possible.
Public tender for FTTS
In early 2012, Swisscom put out a call for tenders for the supply of FTTS network elements. Several network supply companies responded to the call. After thoroughly examining the different offers, Swisscom opted in favour of Huawei. The two parties have now signed a collaboration agreement. "We are pleased to be expanding our existing collaboration with Huawei on fibre-optic expansion. In Huawei, we have found an excellent, trustworthy partner with many years of experience and a high degree of security awareness," says Heinz Herren, Head of Network & IT Division at Swisscom. "Their solution offers us the best technological possibilities for expanding our FTTS broadband network in Switzerland." The contract primarily covers delivery of the active network components for installation in Swisscom cable ducts and construction projects. The agreement will run for eight years. The contractual volume will be about CHF 300 million in total and is a part of the planned investment budget. In 2013 alone, Swisscom will be investing approximately CHF 1.75 billion in infrastructure expansion in Switzerland.
"We are very pleased that Swisscom has decided to expand the existing cooperation in the fibre network and select Huawei for the roll-out of the FTTS", said Ryan Ding, CEO of Huawei Carrier Network Business Group. "Our leading solutions in this area will build ultra broadband and enable Swisscom customers to enjoy much more with connected possibilities. We will engage all resources necessary to ensure a successful win-win cooperation of the project."
Swisscom launched FTTS pilot tests in the municipalities of Charrat (Valais), Grandfontaine (Jura) and Flerden (Grisons) in the autumn of 2012. Huawei's technology will be implemented in these three municipalities. The first customers in these communities can already use services based on these new technologies. Swisscom will start with the rapid expansion of FTTS at other locations at the end of 2013. Swisscom will also provide reseller offers for the other telecommunications and Internet service providers on the new access technology and will thus support competition
High investment in network expansion
To enable it to continue offering its customers ever higher bandwidths and multimedia experiences in the future, Swisscom will rely on a mix of technologies. It is also testing alternative methods of achieving this. Its mobile communications technology is also being upgraded continually, for example with 4G/.