The pandemic necessitated changes to the way we work in 2021, throwing into sharp relief the importance of access to resilient, high-performance telecommunications infrastructures.
The 5G rollout is advancing, but progress has faltered owing to problems sourcing electronic components and appeals against antenna construction. Despite this, 5G technology is efficient and capable of meeting rising demand for mobile data services.
The green wave is also heavily disrupting the ICT industry. As a result, Switzerland is seeing a growing market for used smartphones. Such environmental awareness can also be observed among supplier companies. Here, the legal obligation to reduce their carbon footprint drastically is generating real innovative momentum.
The telecommunications sector is thus now beginning to take full account of the ecological aspects of its output. After all, more efficient devices can reduce power consumption. A holistic approach is emerging. From component manufacture to data storage, the industry is investing in research to achieve some of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
It has not yet been possible to fully harness the potential of 5G. There is budding demand in industry for mobile communications for production and logistics applications. As things stand, 5G is able to handle the massive increase in the data volumes used by private individuals, specifically. These volumes are doubling every two years or so.
Fixed network infrastructures are experiencing the same rise in data traffic owing to the introduction of new modes of working and the use of video-on-demand services. Furthermore, teleworking has highlighted the need for better symmetrical communication, a factor that might be considered in deliberations about the universal service.
ComCom engages in the discussion about future needs for fixed network and mobile telecommunications infrastructures at the national level. It has therefore entered the debate on the universal service and the development of a national high-speed broadband strategy, and has brought its thoughts and concerns before the parliamentary Transport and Telecommunications Committee (TTC-N).
Although Switzerland has an excellent infrastructure, it lags behind the OECD average in respect of optical fibre rollout (fibre to the home, FTTH). What remain above average, however, are prices.
ComCom celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022. Alongside its secretariat, the Commission's aim is to continue supporting the development of the telecoms infrastructures that are so vital to the smooth functioning of our society.
Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli, President of ComCom