Swisscom, the largest telecommunications service provider in Switzerland, and Ericsson, have switched on the first large-scale commercial 5G network in Europe to support commercially available smartphones.
The long-term strategic partners went live with the network in the first minute of April 17, following Swisscom’s securing of a commercial 5G license. As all the other component parts were already in place, securing the license meant the partners simply had to switch the network on.
Swisscom had already flagged the impending launch of the network and introduced smartphone and mobile router ecosystem partners, at an April 10 ceremony in Zurich.
The commercial 5G network and related 5G services are now available in 54 cities and communities in Switzerland, including the major population areas: Zürich, Bern, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Lucerne.
Swisscom subscribers with commercial 5G smartphones and routers in covered areas will immediately benefit from the high speed, low latency and enhanced mobile broadband features of 5G services across infotainment, gaming, Virtual Reality and immersive media experiences.
The 5G network switch-on also opens the door to exploring new opportunities in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0.
Urs Schaeppi, CEO, Swisscom, said: “With the launch of the first commercial 5G network in Switzerland, we are laying the foundation for diverse, new applications and business models. This will not only be great for Switzerland but also inspiring for the people who will now be part of the digital world whether they are living in the city, countryside, or in the mountains.”
Arun Bansal, President and Head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Swisscom and Europe – 5G is now commercially live. As we continue our close ties with Swisscom, we are also strengthening the 5G ecosystem by reducing the time-to-market for chipset and device makers. We ensure multivendor operability with 5G devices and networks, enabling more 5G devices to come to the market so consumers can enjoy the benefits of 5G services.”
Swisscom previously announced its aim to have its 5G network operational all over Switzerland by the end of 2019 – with close to 90% nationwide population coverage. This will be achieved by using Ericsson Spectrum Sharing software that dynamically shares spectrum between 4G and 5G carriers based on traffic demand. This solution will enable fast nationwide 5G coverage with 5G-ready 4G radios.