State of Mobile Networks: Switzerland (June 2018)

Swisscom is reasserting its dominance over the mobile market in Switzerland, having taken OpenSignal's coveted 4G speed award from Sunrise in our latest analysis of the market. But Sunrise has pulled ahead of the incumbent in our 4G availability metric, and competition between the operators is building nicely as LTE speeds and availability continue to improve. Drawing on 187 million data samples collected by 12,700 OpenSignal users between Feb. 1 and May 1, we are taking our semi-annual look at Switzerland, examining the 3G and 4G performance of its three nationwide operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom.


Swisscom grabs the 4G speed crown

It's neck-and-neck in the race for our 4G speed award, as Swisscom's average speed of 36.5 Mbps saw it win this category. The operator showed an impressive LTE speed increase of nearly 7 Mbps in our measurements over the last six months, leapfrogging Sunrise into the top spot.

Sunrise pulls ahead in the 4G availability race

Sunrise managed to overtake Swisscom in our 4G availability category, with its impressive score of 88.4% narrowly beating Swisscom's 86.2%. The intense competition in this metric was reflected in our regional scores, where the two operators drew in every region except Zurich.

Swisscom's 4G speed increase sees it win overall speed

The jump in Swisscom's 4G speed has catapulted it into the top spot in our overall speed metric, a category won by Sunrise in our last report. Swisscom's overall speed score, which measures the average speed across 3G and 4G networks experienced by our users, jumped by over 8 Mbps in the past six months.

The Swiss 4G market matures as speeds and availability grow

Switzerland enjoys one of the more mature 4G markets in Europe, as both speeds and reach continue to increase. All three operators now have 4G availability scores of over 80% in our metrics, while their 4G speed scores are around the 30 Mbps mark.

Opensignal Awards Table

Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Upload Speed: 4G Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G




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Performance by Metric

Download Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by Opensignal users.

Download Speed: 3G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by Opensignal users.

Download Speed: Overall

This metric shows the average download speed experienced by Opensignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Overall speed doesn't just factor in 3G and LTE speeds, but also the availability of each network technology. Operators with lower LTE availability tend to have lower overall speeds because their customers spend more time connected to slower 3G networks.

Upload Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average upload speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by Opensignal users.

Latency: 4G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on LTE connections as measured by Opensignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Latency: 3G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on 3G connections as measured by Opensignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Availability: 4G

This metric shows the proportion of time Opensignal users have an LTE connection available to them on each operator’s network. It's a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.

Regional Performance

This chart shows the regional winners in each category Opensignal measures. Click on the icons to see a more detailed graph showing each operator’s metrics in a particular region.

Legend: Salt Sunrise Swisscom
Region Availability: 4G
Espace Mittelland
Lake Geneva

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When OpenSignal published its Mobile Networks Update: Switzerland report six months ago, we found that all three of the national operators had achieved significant increases in both our 4G speed and availability categories. LTE availability had easily passed 75% for all three operators, while our users on Sunrise's network were experiencing 4G download speeds of over 35 Mbps. These metrics have continued to grow. All three operators have now passed the 80% 4G availability landmark in our measurements, while each of them notched up 4G speeds on or around 30 Mbps.

In our third report on Switzerland, we parsed more than 187 million data points collected from 12,728 mobile users between Feb. 1 and May 1, 2018. We compared the 3G and 4G experience offered by Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom on the national level. We also examined 4G availability in seven Swiss regions.

Swisscom leaps ahead of Sunrise in 4G and overall speeds

Swisscom won our 4G download speed category, as its average speed of 36.5 Mbps beat Sunrise's score of 34.2 Mbps. Swisscom increased its speed by nearly 7 Mbps — a jump of nearly 28% — in the six months since our last report, allowing the operator to leapfrog Sunrise to the top spot. In general, LTE speeds in Switzerland continue to steadily increase, as all three operators were providing our users speeds of around 30 Mbps or greater in our measurements.

The impressive increase in Swisscom's 4G download speed results allowed the operator to pass over Sunrise in our overall speed category, which measures average download speed experienced by OpenSignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Swisscom's score of 31.6 Mbps beat Sunrise's average speed of 29.4 Mbps, while Salt was in third place with 25 Mbps.

Swisscom and Sunrise shared the spoils in our 3G speed category, tying with scores of 6.1 Mbps and 5.7 Mbps respectively. This category saw a three-way draw six months ago, but Salt's score dropped in our 3G speed measurements from 6.3 Mbps to 5.1 Mbps, seeing the operator fall behind its peers. However, it was Swisscom who came in third place in our 4G upload speed category, as Sunrise and Salt's scores of 14.4 Mbps and 13.9 Mbps easily beat the incumbent's 9.1 Mbps. In terms of latency, Swisscom led both our 3G and 4G categories fairly comfortably, beating its closest rival by 3 milliseconds in 4G and nearly 20ms in 3G.

Sunrise's superior 4G availability in Zurich gives it the edge

Sunrise managed to pull ahead of Swisscom in the national 4G availability race, which saw the two operators draw in our last report. Sunrise's impressive score of 88.4% beat Swisscom's 86.2% and Salt's 81.5%. The close race between Sunrise and Swisscom was reflected in our regional results, where the two drew in every region except Zurich. In the capital, our Sunrise users were able to connect to 4G an impressive 89.4% of the time, beating Swisscom's availability score of 85.6% and paving the way for Sunrise to take our national prize. LTE availability is maturing rapidly across the country, with all three operators now having passed the 80% milestone in our measurements.

Sunrise's impressive score in Zurich was no surprise, since the city came fourth for 4G availability and third for 4G speed in our recent blog which compared 13 of Europe's most bustling tech hubs. On a national level, Switzerland made the top 10 for 4G availability in our recent study of 36 European countries, while the country was 12th in terms of 4G speed.

Swisscom has used its considerable financial muscle to upgrade its mobile network using LTE-Advanced, carrier aggregation and 256QAM modulation, which is a likely reason for its recent surge in 4G speeds. But Swisscom's rivals are fighting back. Salt was acquired by Xavier Niel, who has successfully disrupted the French mobile market with Iliad's Free. Salt is now busy upgrading its network to LTE-Advanced, while the operator has recently announced it will enter the multi-play sector.

Switzerland is among the global leaders in both LTE availability and speed, and its standing in both metrics is only improving. The Swiss mobile market is maturing nicely, and we expect the growing competition between the operators will push them to greater gains in our metrics.

Our Methodology

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks as they go about their daily lives. We collect 3 billion individual measurements every day from tens of millions of smartphones worldwide.

Our measurements are collected at all hours of the day, every day of the year, under conditions of normal usage, including inside buildings and outdoors, in cities and the countryside, and everywhere in between. By analyzing on-device measurements recorded in the places where subscribers actually live, work and travel, we report on mobile network service the way users truly experience it.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the changing experience of consumers on mobile networks and, therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only. For more information on how we collect and analyze our data, see our methodology page.

For this particular report, 187,730,210 datapoints were collected from 12,728 users during the period: 2018-02-01 - 2018-05-01.

For every metric we've calculated statistical confidence intervals and plotted them on all of the graphs. When confidence intervals overlap for a certain metric, our measured results are too close to declare a winner in a particular category. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

Opensignal Limited retains ownership of this report including all intellectual property rights, data, content, graphs & analysis. Reports produced by Opensignal Limited may not be quoted, reproduced, distributed, published for any commercial purpose (including use in advertisements or other promotional content) without prior written consent.

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