In 2006, the Swiss telecommunications equipment and services market grew by 2.5 percent and was valued at USD 9.1 billion. The same percentage growth is forecasted for 2007, the exchange-rate-adjusted equivalent of USD 229 million. No other country invests as much per capita in telecommunications as Switzerland. Private Internet use is the second highest in Europe, and Switzerland ranks third in terms of E-commerce.
Switzerland is an international leader in the rollout of broadband services. ADSL is available for more than 98% of telephone connections and is offered by 30 different suppliers. Mobile network coverage is high in all regions, despite the country’s mountainous topography. The networks of the three largest providers cover 99% of the Swiss population. Swisscom (62%), Sunrise (19%) and Orange (18%) are the suppliers with the biggest market shares. Swisscom is no longer the sole provider of telecommunication services, which has resulted in healthy price competition. These providers operate their own GSM (Global Standard in Mobile Telecommunications, 2nd Generation, 900 and 1800 MHz) networks, while a fourth player, Tele2, obtained a license to offer services via third-party networks only.
Mobile services, including mobile Internet, and broadband Internet continue to drive the market. Demand for ADSL was strong in 2006; the Swiss market reached more than 2 million ADSL subscribers (19% growth rate) and 660,000 cable connections (10% growth rate). However, the Swiss ADSL market demand demonstrates the disadvantage of being completely controlled by an ex-monopolist telecom provider. With Swisscom dictating both the pricing and the speed, Switzerland has started to lag behind in both aspects. Surrounding countries like Germany, France and Italy offer ADSL connections at a fraction of the price. The Swiss Competition Commission has been investigating the high prices Swisscom charges to its competitors for the ADSL service, but no immediate result can be expected.
One of the strongest competitors to Swisscom is Cablecom. With over two million cable TV connections in Swiss households Cablecom controls the second largest network and is currently the only other company besides Swisscom that offers true triple play service (data, voice and television/radio) to its customers in Switzerland. Cablecom was acquired by Liberty Global, Inc., for an estimated USD 2 billion. On December 16, 2005, Sunrise and Cablecom entered into a strategic partnership on mobile telephony. Swisscom started its IPTV network in late 2006 and has already received over 20,000 orders for the service, resulting in a six-week installation delay for new customers.
In the mobile telecommunications market, there were 7.4 million users in 2006, representing a 9% increase over the previous year. Forecasts include continued growth in information technology spending in Switzerland, a further decrease in mobile communication costs, and expanded services for third-generation mobile devices, such as IPTV. Continued strong growth is expected for VOIP solutions.
Telecommunication hardware and software
Wireless communications hardware and software
IT Security (software, hardware and consulting)
Voice over IP solutions
Virtual Private Networks
Mobile and radio services
Leased line business
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July 2003 est.
The covered bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland before it burned (I believe it was