Light Reading

Swisscom Boasts FTTX Milestone

Ray Le Maistre
7/30/2014
50%
50%

Switzerland's national operator Swisscom is now delivering "ultra-fast" broadband services of 100 Mbit/s or faster to more than 1 million customers, with about 80% of those customers hooked up directly to a fiber connection, it announced today.

And that's no mean feat in a country with a population of just over 8 million and about 3 million households.

Swisscom has about 1.85 million retail fixed broadband customers in total, so more than half of that customer base is receiving the operator's 'ultra-fast' broadband service. The milestone is the result of years of investment (sometimes with municipal or utility company partners) in fiber deployments and the latest copper broadband enhancement technologies, which means Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) has an array of different broadband access 'flavors.' The operator first announced its fiber broadband plans and investments back in 2008: see Swisscom Plans $2.3B FTTx Rollout.

Here's a breakdown of Swisscom's ultra-fast broadband progress:

  • Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH): More than 800,000 homes and businesses in 80 Swiss towns and cities are hooked up to a fiber connection and can access services with downstream speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s. (See Swisscom Launches 1G Broadband.)

  • Fiber-to-the-street (FTTS) and fiber-to-the-building (FTTB): For FTTS, which is being deployed mainly outside major urban areas, the fiber is run to within 200 meters of homes and businesses, with an existing copper tail used for the physical connection to the customer, over which broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s are possible. For FTTB, the fiber is run to the basement of a building, from where existing copper wiring is used to connect the building's tenants. Working with Huawei, Swisscom has deployed FTTS in 10 municipalities, and is rolling it out in another 100 locations. The operator is keen to boost the potential speeds for its FTTS and FTTB customers in the future, and is working with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , its main FTTS technology partner, on the potential for G.fast, the emerging standard being ratified by the ITU that could deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s over a short copper connection. (See Swisscom Picks Huawei for Fiber Expansion.)

  • Fiber-to-the-curb with vectoring: Swisscom has been upgrading its FTTC access infrastructure (which relies on VDSL-enabled copper tails running hundreds of meters from a cabinet to the customer) with vectoring technology, which cancels noise in the copper connections and so enables a cleaner, faster connection. The Swiss incumbent says the fixed broadband connections to more than 200,000 homes and businesses have now been upgraded with vectoring capabilities, doubling downstream speeds and enabling connections of up to 100 Mbit/s.

    Swisscom's aim is to offer its ultra-fast broadband services to more than 2.3 million homes and businesses by the end of 2015, and more than 4.6 million by 2020.

    The driving forces behind its investments are competition and service support: The company knows it needs the best fixed and mobile broadband services to be able to deliver high quality consumer services such as IPTV (it has more than 1 million customers for its service) and business services, especially as cloud-based services become more popular. (See Swisscom Embraces OpenStack With PlumGrid.)


    For more fixed broadband market coverage and insights, check out our dedicated Broadband content channel here on Light Reading.


    Switzerland is one of a growing number of European countries that, after years of talk, FTTH has been widely deployed. But the continents is still divided: Some major European operators, while boasting in their marketing about "fiber broadband," are mainly focused on running fiber to various distribution points (curb, cabinet, and so on) and relying on the existing copper plant for the final connection, so avoiding the high up-front costs of taking fiber all the way to homes and businesses. (See No Easy Answers on FTTH Investment.)

    Swisscom's news comes only a day after one of its main broadband services rivals, cable operator UPC Cablecom , announced that it is merging with its sister cable operator in neighboring Austria. (See Eurobites: Liberty Merges Euro Operations.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

    (2)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    thebulk
    50%
    50%
    thebulk,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    7/30/2014 | 1:33:00 PM
    Re: Medium-term commitment
    So, they have the infrastructor in place, but now they have to utilize it properly to stay ahead of demand. 
    Ray@LR
    50%
    50%
    Ray@LR,
    User Rank: Blogger
    7/30/2014 | 7:56:28 AM
    Medium-term commitment
    Swisscom decided in 2008 that it was going to invest significantly in its fixed and mobile broadband capabilities, and where it has deployed fiber to the customer it has built in plenty of redundauncy (multiple fibers) - that's partly to do with regulatory reasons but it means that the broadband infrastructure is future-proofed in terms of capacity.

    I think these years of investment will pay off for Swisscom because it will already have the infrastructure capable of delivering all sorts of bandwidth-hungry services, and be able to focus on developing, delivering and monetising those services rather than constantly having to upgrade its broadband infrastructure. 
    From The Founder
    Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
    Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

    8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


    Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

    8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

    8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


    Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Global Services Forum Preview

    8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

    8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


    Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

    8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


    Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    The Netformx Ecosystem

    8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


    Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

    8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


    Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
    LRTV Custom TV
    Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

    8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


    Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei ONS Product Demo

    8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


    Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
    LRTV Custom TV
    End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

    7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


    Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Network Visibility & the New IP

    7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


    Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
    Upcoming Live Events
    September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
    September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
    October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
    November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
    November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
    December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
    Hot Topics
    Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
    Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
    Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
    Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    September 22, 2015
    Media Begins With “Me”
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
    Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
    Cats with Phones
    Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
    Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?