Switzerland has one of the best telecommunications and broadband infrastructures in the world, something proved by countless studies. But that is no reason for Swisscom, the leading national Swiss network operator, to sit back and “put its feet up”: Instead the network operator is driving network expansion forward. Because needs are increasing. Every 16 months, the volume of data transmitted in the fixed network doubles.

Strategy: everything from a single source

Every community in Switzerland should have access to a virtually full-coverage ultra-broadband service. That is the goal. This is why Swisscom invests more than 1.7 billion Swiss francs every year in its IT and infrastructure. This means customers benefit from bandwidths of up to 1 Gbit/s in the fastest FO network in Switzerland. By the end of 2020, 85 % of all Swiss households will have a fixed network connection of at least 100 Mbit/s.

Future-proof technology mix

Swisscom is relying on a unique technology mix to ensure a fast, full-coverage ultra-broadband service. In large urban areas on FTTH for example. Together with cooperation partners, Swisscom had already reached its long-term goal of one million FTTH connections at the end of 2015.
Outside the agglomerations, Swisscom has been relying on Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) and vectoring since 2014. The vectoring technology makes it possible to reduce signal crosstalk on copper cables. This enables bandwidths of up to 100 Mbit/s.

G.fast is also used. This makes bandwidths of up to 500 Mbit/s possible on existing copper cabling. The ITU-T standard G.fast is based on vectoring and enables data transmission over existing copper cabling. Since G.fast only works on short lines, Swisscom combines this solution with the Fiber to the Street and Fiber to the Building network architecture (FTTS and FTTB). In the spring of 2015, Swisscom tested the world’s first customer connections with G.fast. The implementation of G.fast in the mass market should be in place by the end of 2016. In this process, Swisscom is the international leader.

With its continuous investments in its own network and in the latest technologies, Swisscom guarantees a secure solution for home connections long term. Thanks to the extensive technology mix, 97 % of all apartments and businesses throughout the country have broadband Internet. More than 93 % can use digital TV (e.g. Swisscom TV 2.0) with around 91 % being able to use digital TV in HD quality.

Long-term customer relations

Swisscom has been relying on solutions from R&M for several decades now when it comes to passive infrastructure. The successful collaboration centers on the operative business as well as strategic projects. Multiple products were developed in close collaboration with those in charge at Swisscom. The focus was always on optimally satisfying the needs of Swisscom with custom-made products and solutions.

Currently R&M is developing new fiber optic solutions for the FTTx expansion as part of the collaboration. “In the entire technology mix with FTTH, FTTC, FTTS, FTTB and FTTO, products from R&M are an important component of Swisscom infrastructure,” says Maurizio Della Mura, Head of New Building Marketing at Swisscom.

Space for innovation

In summer 2016, Swisscom opened a workshop for creative developments in the town of Biel. The interdisciplinary co-space project is intended to bring forth ideas for a networked, digital world. R&M provides the passive system solutions for this exemplary and pioneering project.

“La Werkstadt” is the name given to the innovative center. This term, created from the German words Werkstatt (workshop) and Stadt (town/city) shows just what happens in this building: People and companies with all kinds of interests meet here to bundle their experience and knowledge. Freelancers, students, lateral thinkers and people interested in technology find their workshop at La Werkstadt to work on their ideas for the future.

To enable new forms of collaboration, you need an efficient network based on state-of-the-art technologies. The LAN in La Werkstadt is available to project members, partners and Swisscom employees for much more than just work purposes. An exploratory tour around the basement reveals innovations from the worlds of cell phones and fixed networks, all made physically accessible. You will also find project teams from Swisscom and external partners here. Here too, R&M solutions are in evidence.

In the spacious co-space, Swisscom provides project members with a meeting zone. This is where there is an exchange of visions, ideas and capabilities. “You’ll see a graphic designer swap ideas with a network specialist, or a Swisscom project lead with students from the University of Bern,” explains Heinz Herren, CIO and CTO of Swisscom. “This is how we make space for innovative projects and as yet undreamed of synergies in collaboration.”