Mobile Network Experience Report Switzerland December 2019

Switzerland

Mobile Network Experience Report
December 2019

Opensignal Active Userbase in Switzerland
Total Devices
59,632
Total Measurements
75,552,458
Data Collection Period
Aug 01 Oct 29, 2019

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author
Peter Boyland Senior Analyst

Key findings

Swisscom reasserts its dominance in our mobile network experience awards

Swisscom won four awards outright in this report, and drew in a further two categories — a major improvement from six months ago, when the operator only managed two wins and one tie. Swisscom jumped from third to first place in Upload Speed Experience, and pulled ahead in Video Experience following a tie.

Swisscom puts in a sprint to pull ahead of the pack in our speed metrics

Our Swisscom users saw their Download Speed Experience improve by over 20%, as the operator extended its lead in this category. But this acceleration was even more impressive in Upload Speed Experience, as Swisscom's score jumped by over 60%, allowing the operator to leapfrog both its rivals moving from third place last time to grab our award.

Sunrise now draws in 4G Availability as Swisscom users see a greater improvement

Our Swisscom users saw their 4G Availability improve by nearly 3 percentage points, to pass the 93% mark and force a draw for this award. Neither Sunrise nor Salt statistically saw any improvement in their scores, meaning Sunrise now has to share the prize while Salt is out of touch with the leaders.

Swisscom pulls ahead with an Excellent Video Experience

Swisscom broke the tie for our Video Experience award, sprinting ahead of the pack with a jump of 6 points (out of 100) in its score. This also tipped the leader's Video Experience rating over into Excellent, meaning its users enjoy fast loading times and almost no stalling when streaming video to their devices, even at higher resolutions.

A very tight race for our new Voice App Experience award

Our Voice App Experience medal was shared between Salt and Swisscom, with less than 2 points (out of 100) separating all three operators. All of Switzerland's operators gained a Good Voice App Experience rating, meaning our users are largely satisfied when using voice apps, although they may experience minor quality impairments such as occasional clicking sounds or distortion.

Introduction

Following a fairly mixed awards table in our last report, it's clear that one operator has pulled ahead of the pack in our latest examination of the Swiss mobile network experience. Swisscom won four awards outright and drew for a further two, as the operator grabbed our Video and Upload Speed Experience medals while tying with Salt for our inaugural Voice App Experience award. But the focus in Switzerland this year has mostly been on the next generation of mobile networks.

The rollout of 5G is well underway in Switzerland. Sunrise has already connected over 300 towns and cities, while Swisscom is testing Dynamic Spectrum Sharing to help it achieve its highly ambitious target of providing 5G coverage to 90% of the Swiss population by the end of 2019. Opensignal's recent analysis of the global 5G market found that 10% of speed tests conducted in Switzerland from 5G New Radio (5G NR) enabled devices used an active 5G connection — the majority of speed tests continued to be on 4G — but Switzerland and Germany were second only to early 5G leader South Korea, which saw 20% of speed tests conducted from 5G NR devices using an active 5G connection.

But 5G aside, what's the user experience on Switzerland's current 4G and 3G mobile networks? For this report, we've gathered data across the 90 days from the start of August 2019 to see how the three national operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom stack up, both at a national level and in four of the country's largest cities.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Switzerland
December 2019, Switzerland Report
4G Availability
Video Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
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Mobile Experience Awards Winners
December 2019, Switzerland
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
December 2019, Switzerland
4G Availability
Voice App Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
4G Availability
% of time
Sunrise
93.1
Salt
88.0
Swisscom
93.4
0 23.75 47.5 71.25 95
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

4G Availability

Swisscom was the only operator to show any improvement in its 4G Availability score — enough to push it into a tie with Sunrise, who won this award in our last report. Our Swisscom users saw their 4G Availability improve by nearly 3 percentage points, while those on Salt and Sunrise saw statistically no change in their scores. Both Sunrise and Swisscom now have scores above the 93% mark, while Salt is within 2 percentage points of the 90% mark, meaning with a little push, we should see our users on all three of Switzerland's operators enjoying over 90% 4G Availability in the next year.

4G Availability
% of time
Sunrise
93.1
Salt
88.0
Swisscom
93.4
0 23.75 47.5 71.25 95
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

Switzerland's high 4G Availability scores are particularly impressive, given the topographical challenges the operators face in this mountainous region. Opensignal recently analyzed the proportion of time our Swiss users could access mobile services on 4G networks and found that users on average could connect to 4G services more than 85% of the time across all geographical regions. Our 4G users in the Swiss Plateau and Alpine Valley regions spent more than 90% of their time connected to 4G networks, while our users in the Alpine Mountain and Jura regions had slightly lower 4G Availability scores around the 88% mark. Our data shows there is no large divide in mobile experience across the geographical regions, suggesting that the majority of Swiss users will benefit from the ongoing 5G network rollout, regardless of where they live in the mountainous landscape.

Video Experience

We saw improvements in Video Experience for all our Swiss users. But the biggest jump in our scores was from Swisscom, which improved over 6 points (out of 100) to pull ahead of Sunrise, following a tie between the two in the metric six months ago. Our users on both Salt and Sunrise saw increases in their scores, but Salt's growth was slightly higher, allowing the operator to force a tie for second place.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
72.5
Salt
72.0
Swisscom
76.8
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
74.5 (± 0.83) 74.9 (± 0.67) 78.3 (± 0.36)
3G Video Experience
49.5 (± 4.62) 49.4 (± 4.66) 58.2 (± 3.06)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
74 (± 0.83)
75 (± 0.67)
78 (± 0.36)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
50 (± 4.62)
49 (± 4.66)
58 (± 3.06)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Swisscom's sprint saw it pass the 75-point mark in Video Experience — meaning it now has an Excellent rating (75-100). This means its users enjoy a very consistent experience across all video streaming providers and resolutions, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling. This is only the second time we have seen an Excellent rating in one of our country reports — only Vodafone in the Netherlands has managed it so far — and Switzerland's other two operators are both within 3 points of this mark, reflecting the highly advanced status of mobile networks in the country.

Voice App Experience

It was an incredibly tight race for our first-ever Voice App Experience award in Switzerland: The prize was shared by Salt and Swisscom, with less than 2 points (out of 100) separating all three operators. This unique, first-of-its-kind metric measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union for quantifying overall voice call quality with a series of calibrated technical parameters.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
80.0
Salt
80.8
Swisscom
81.6
Impossible to communicate Unintelligible Very Poor Poor Acceptable Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Voice App Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Voice App Experience
80.5 (± 0.56) 82.1 (± 0.46) 81.7 (± 0.35)
3G Voice App Experience
74.0 (± 2.56) 71.2 (± 1.99) 80.2 (± 1.25)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
81 (± 0.56)
82 (± 0.46)
82 (± 0.35)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
74 (± 2.56)
71 (± 1.99)
80 (± 1.25)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

All three of Switzerland's operators scored in the 80-87 bracket (out of 100) in Voice App Experience, meaning they all achieved Good ratings. This means our users are largely satisfied with voice app calls, although some experience minor quality impairments, such as a hazy background, low volume, and very occasional clicking sounds or distortion. While there is clearly room for improvement, Switzerland enjoys a good Voice App Experience, coming in the top 10 of our global chart in our recent report.

Download Speed Experience

Swisscom is pulling further ahead in Download Speed Experience

Swisscom has dominated our speed metrics for some years now. But the operator has really put the pedal to the metal in this report, putting some serious distance between itself and its rivals. In Download Speed Experience, our Swisscom users saw their average speed by 9 Mbps — a jump of over 20% since our last report — moving the operator to within 1 Mbps of the 50 Mbps milestone.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Sunrise
36.5
Salt
33.8
Swisscom
49.4
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
38.5 (± 0.99) 37.4 (± 0.94) 52.4 (± 0.84)
3G Download Speed
4.8 (± 0.34) 5.1 (± 0.32) 6.0 (± 0.28)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
39 (± 0.99)
37 (± 0.94)
52 (± 0.84)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.34)
5 (± 0.32)
6 (± 0.28)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

This acceleration means our Swisscom users' Download Speed Experience is now nearly 13 Mbps ahead of its nearest rival Sunrise, and over 15 Mbps faster than Salt. And in our 4G-only Download Speed measurements, Swisscom has smashed through the 50 Mbps marker, with a score of 52.4 Mbps — close to 14 Mbps ahead of the pack.

In order to understand Swisscom user’s radically superior download speeds, we recently analyzed the spectrum holdings of the country's operators. We found that all three players utilized a range of bands, from 800 MHz to 2600 MHz, allowing them to offer a pretty good mobile network experience across the board. But the game-changer for Swisscom appears to be in the higher bands (2100 MHz and 2600 MHz), where we saw significantly higher numbers of 4G cells on their network compared to their rivals. These higher bands are ideal for covering urban areas with high speed, high-capacity networks, which has given Swisscom the edge over its rivals in our speed metrics.

Upload Speed Experience

Swisscom's speed leap was even more impressive in Upload Speed Experience, as it saw its score jump by 6.6 Mbps — a massive increase of over 62% — to leapfrog both its rivals and grab our award. Our users on both Sunrise and Salt also saw decent increases in their scores — of 8% and 16% respectively, to tie for second place — but Swisscom is now over 4 Mbps faster than either of its rivals.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Sunrise
12.9
Salt
13.0
Swisscom
17.2
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
13.8 (± 0.38) 14.6 (± 0.35) 18.5 (± 0.30)
3G Upload Speed
1.7 (± 0.17) 1.3 (± 0.14) 1.9 (± 0.12)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
14 (± 0.38)
15 (± 0.35)
18 (± 0.30)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.17)
1 (± 0.14)
2 (± 0.12)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Our Swisscom users also saw the greatest increase in their 4G Upload Speeds, of close to 7 Mbps to reach a very impressive 18.5 Mbps and spring into the lead. But while second-placed Salt also saw a fair increase in the 4G Upload Speed our users enjoy to stay within 4 Mbps of the leader, Sunrise saw statistically no improvement in its score in the past six months, seeing it drift into third place and further behind the pack.

Latency Experience

Swisscom kept hold of our Latency Experience award, with a slight improvement to its score in the past six months to bring our users’ experience tantalizingly close to the 30 millisecond milestone. But it was our Salt users who saw the greatest improvement of nearly 5ms, allowing the operator to move past Sunrise into second place.

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
Sunrise
34.5
Salt
32.2
Swisscom
30.1
0 8.75 17.5 26.25 35
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
32.9 (± 0.35) 28.6 (± 0.31) 29.3 (± 0.17)
3G Latency
53.9 (± 3.24) 59.1 (± 2.65) 40.7 (± 1.17)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
33 (± 0.35)
29 (± 0.31)
29 (± 0.17)
3G Latency in ms
54 (± 3.24)
59 (± 2.65)
41 (± 1.17)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Salt saw a similar improvement in its 4G Latency score, allowing it to move ahead of both its rivals in our measurements. Indeed, it may now only be Salt's inferior 3G Latency and 4G Availability scores that are preventing the operator from taking our overall Latency Experience award. And things aren't so good for Swisscom in 4G Latency, as our users statistically haven't seen any improvement in their network speeds for the past year.

Regional Analysis

The race for 4G Availability was even closer in Switzerland's largest cities, where we saw ties in all four of the markets we analyzed. Our users in Lausanne and Zurich enjoyed scores over 90% on all three networks, but it was our Sunrise users in Zurich that enjoyed the best score of any of the cities at 94.7% — tantalizingly close to the 95% mark.

Swisscom's dominance of Download Speed Experience was reflected in the cities, where the operator won in all four with scores well over 50 Mbps — including a blisteringly-fast average of 58.3 Mbps enjoyed by its users in Bern. But Sunrise wasn't slacking, as our Sunrise users managed download speeds over 50 Mbps in both Lausanne and Zurich.

The close race for Voice App Experience was reflected in the cities, where we saw ties in all four of the metros we examined. And the field was fairly level in Video Experience, with ties In Bern and Lausanne, while Swisscom managed to win our awards in Geneva and Zurich — but with a lead of less than 4 points (out of 100).

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Bern

4G Availability
in Bern
in %
Sunrise
90.4
Salt
89.7
Swisscom
93.6
Download Image
Video Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
74.2
Salt
70.9
Swisscom
75.0
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
79.7
Salt
82.3
Swisscom
82.3
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Bern
in Mbps
Sunrise
47.5
Salt
37.3
Swisscom
58.3
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Bern
in Mbps
Sunrise
13.2
Salt
14.4
Swisscom
20.5
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Bern
in ms
Sunrise
35.5
Salt
30.7
Swisscom
33.7
Download Image

Geneva

4G Availability
in Geneva
in %
Sunrise
93.1
Salt
87.3
Swisscom
90.3
Download Image
Video Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
73.1
Salt
70.3
Swisscom
76.6
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
80.8
Salt
78.3
Swisscom
82.0
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Geneva
in Mbps
Sunrise
44.3
Salt
30.9
Swisscom
51.4
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Geneva
in Mbps
Sunrise
15.6
Salt
14.2
Swisscom
20.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Geneva
in ms
Sunrise
34.4
Salt
31.8
Swisscom
28.4
Download Image

Lausanne

4G Availability
in Lausanne
in %
Sunrise
91.5
Salt
90.7
Swisscom
94.3
Download Image
Video Experience
in Lausanne
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
77.4
Salt
73.9
Swisscom
76.9
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Lausanne
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
82.7
Salt
82.8
Swisscom
82.0
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Lausanne
in Mbps
Sunrise
56.0
Salt
32.8
Swisscom
56.4
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Lausanne
in Mbps
Sunrise
18.1
Salt
12.7
Swisscom
22.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Lausanne
in ms
Sunrise
29.3
Salt
30.6
Swisscom
26.9
Download Image

Zurich

4G Availability
in Zurich
in %
Sunrise
94.7
Salt
90.8
Swisscom
93.2
Download Image
Video Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
74.8
Salt
75.2
Swisscom
78.2
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
80.9
Salt
80.9
Swisscom
81.8
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Zurich
in Mbps
Sunrise
50.9
Salt
36.4
Swisscom
55.0
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Zurich
in Mbps
Sunrise
16.9
Salt
15.7
Swisscom
20.7
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Zurich
in ms
Sunrise
29.7
Salt
29.6
Swisscom
26.6
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Learn more

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks in the places they live, work and travel.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the true experience of smartphone users. Therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars. In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

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For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars.

In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

Why confidence intervals are vital in analyzing mobile network experience

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