Mobile coverage

Coverage of the mobile networks

Coverage of the LTE networks in Switzerland, december 2017
(per 100 inhabitants)

Couverture des réseaux LTE

Sources : providers


In Switzerland, mobile communications coverage is almost total. The GSM (2G) networks serve almost 100% of the population and cover about 90% of the territory. It is therefore possible to make calls from almost anywhere, even in the remotest areas.

As for UMTS/HSPA (3G) services, which enable mobile internet access, these cover up to 99% of the Swiss population, depending on the operator in question.

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.

At the end of 2017, the coverage of the LTE/4G networks was 98% of the population for Salt and exceeded 99% for Swisscom and Sunrise.

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 2017, the population coverage for LTE-A technology was already as high as 80% of the population, with speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s in Swisscom’s case. Sunrise for its part announced in the autumn of 2017 that it was already offering speeds of up to 900 Mbit/s with LTE-Advanced technology in the five largest Swiss cities. In theory, LTE-A makes it possible to achieve speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s at certain locations (through the use of MIMO multi-antenna systems).

Elsewhere in the world, the roll-out continues at a rapid pace. According to GSA (the Global Mobile Suppliers Association), there were 2.54 billion LTE/4G contracts world-wide in the autumn of 2017, i.e. almost 840 million more than a year before. This number is expected to increase significantly over the next few years to approach the 5 billion mark by 2022, corresponding to more than 50% of all mobile contracts.

Last modification 16.05.2018

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