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Broadband Tech

Swiss Salt keeps fiber figures under wraps

Swiss operator Salt Mobile continued to exude confidence in its first quarterly results for 2022, but one key figure was again noticeable by its absence: how many new home broadband subscribers were gained in the first quarter of the year.

In its results statement, Salt reported that the number of contract mobile subscribers increased 18,100 to 1,394,300, and also noted that it achieved subscriber growth in both its B2B and home broadband segments. However, it did not provide any actual figures for the latter two segments.

In the third quarter of last year, the operator said it exceeded 150,000 high-speed broadband subscribers. However, it does not appear to have divulged Salt Home figures since then even though Salt has been positioning itself as a fully convergent national telecom provider.

Salt CEO Pascal Grieder said the operator made a good start to the year with organic growth in mobile, B2B and home broadband.
 (Source: Marlon Trottmann/Alamy Stock Photo)
Salt CEO Pascal Grieder said the operator made a good start to the year with organic growth in mobile, B2B and home broadband.
(Source: Marlon Trottmann/Alamy Stock Photo)

The operator originally launched the Salt Home fiber service in 2018 via wholesale provider Swiss Fibre Net. Then in April 2021, Salt partnered with Swisscom to gain access to the incumbent operator's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in the future. The agreement would give Salt access to more than 3 million Swiss households by 2025.

The problem is that Swisscom's FTTH deployment has been delayed because of regulatory and government objections to its planned range of wholesale offers. This in turn has affected Salt's strategy.

Swisscom itself indicated in April that the situation regarding the expansion of its fiber-optic network remains challenging. "We are interested in a rapid solution; to this end, we are holding in-depth discussions with the Competition Commission," the operator said at the time.

In March, a Salt spokesperson confirmed that the partnership signed with Swisscom was currently on hold but said the operator continued to sign new agreements with other partners. At the time, the Salt Home Fiber footprint was 1.6 million premises. Salt is also offering a fixed wireless access (FWA) service to complement its fiber offering.

Positive first quarter

Meanwhile, the mood at the company remains upbeat. Salt CEO Pascal Grieder said the operator made a good start to the year and registered organic growth in its three strategic pillars. "Our offerings are being well received by customers, which supports further organic growth," Grieder said.


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Indeed, Salt generally maintained good momentum in Q1 2022. Operating revenue rose by 2.5% to 233.6 million Swiss francs (US$242 million), while adjusted EBITDA increased 4.5% to CHF105 million ($109 million). Free cash flow stood at CHF20.1 million ($20.9 million).

In March, Salt also confirmed that an IPO is off the agenda – at least for the time being. Investors had speculated whether or not a flotation in Zurich was likely to take place. It was also suggested that French billionaire Xavier Niel was looking to exit the company.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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