Mobile coverage

Coverage of the mobile networks

Coverage of the LTE networks in Switzerland, december 2018
(per 100 inhabitants)

Coverage of the LTE networks

Sources : providers


Mobile coverage is almost total in Switzerland. The GSM (2G) networks serve almost 100% of the population and cover about 90% of the territory. Mobile calls can be made nearly everywhere – often even in very remote areas of the country.

In the case of UMTS/HSPA services (3G), which enable mobile internet access, population coverage in Switzerland is up to 99%, depending on the operator.

In order to deal with the continuous increase in the volumes of data exchanged on the mobile networks, operators are continuing with the modernisation of their mobile networks in Switzerland. Swisscom launched its LTE network in late November 2012. Sunrise and Salt launched theirs in the spring of 2013.
The term LTE (Long Term Evolution, 4G) designates a major evolution of the previous generations of mobile telephony networks UMTS, HSDPA and HSDPA+ (3G), permitting very high speeds on the mobile networks.  In fact, this new generation of 4G/LTE networks makes it possible for users to access the mobile internet at theoretical speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s.
Operators have also continued to roll out LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology on their networks, which makes it possible to increase speeds up to 300 Mbit/s, or even 450 Mbit/s with carrier aggregation, which further improves the experience and convenience of internet access for consumers.

At the end of 2018 LTE (4G) coverage was already 98% of the population for Salt, more than 99% for Swisscom and almost 100% (99.9%) for Sunrise. In terms of LTE-A technology (4G+), all operators report high network coverage: for Salt the figure is already 55% of the population; for Sunrise it is 80% and for Swisscom even over 80%.

The new technology is also spreading rapidly throughout the world. According to the GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers' Association) in summer 2018 there were 3.6 billion LTE/4G contracts worldwide, i.e. more than a billion more than the year before (+43%). The LTE/4G share of mobile contracts is 42%.

According to the GSMA (the GSM Association) LTE/4G will very soon become the dominant mobile radio technology. In 2019, 50% of all mobile calls are expected to be made using this standard; by 2025 this share could rise to almost 60%. At the same time 5G will also make its mark on everyday life. In numerous countries, including Switzerland, the first 5G-capable smartphones and commercial services are expected to come onto the market in the second half of 2019. The GSMA estimates that the number of 5G mobile contracts will grow to 1.4 billion by 2025 - 15% of all contracts. In some markets such as China and Europe, this share could reach 30% or even 50% in the USA.

Last modification 23.05.2019

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