Archived dossier: status as of 20 July 2014
Following an auction, the mobile telephony frequencies were reallocated to mobile telephony operators in February 2012. Salt (former Orange), Sunrise and Swisscom must therefore undertake exchanges of frequencies in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands. The preparations are underway; the process has been drawn up jointly by the three licensees and approved by the Communications Commission (ComCom). The work will take place at night, between 21 July and 16 August 2014. It might possibly cause brief interruptions on the network. In the final analysis, nothing will change for customers; they will be able to continue to use their mobile phones as they have done until now.
The essentials in brief
- Mobile telephony frequencies are a resource which cannot be expanded; they are both rare and precious. The Confederation wants the available spectra to be used in the most efficient way possible, in the interests of the economy.
- The frequencies are always granted for a fixed term, on the basis of a licence entitling them to be used. Since the term was expiring for some frequencies and at the same time new mobile telephony spectra were being made available, the Confederation conducted a retender of all the frequencies between 6 and 22 February 2012.
- The 800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequency bands were added to the mobile telephony bands already in use (900 MHz, 2100M Hz, 1800 MHz). The allocated frequencies are available from the following dates:
- 800 MHz: immediately after the award in 2012
- 900 MHz: new spectrum and new band positions after the network improvement work in 2014
- 1800 MHz: new spectrum and new band positions after the network improvement work in 2014
- 2100 MHz: new spectrum and new band positions after the network improvement work in 2016
- 2600 MHz: immediately after the award in 2012
- In order to enable the frequency bands awarded during the tender process to be used by the operators which acquired them, a reorganisation of the spectrum (refarming) is necessary. The three mobile telephony operators Salt (former Orange), Sunrise and Swisscom must therefore exchange frequencies and reprogram their networks accordingly.
- These changes do not affect in any way the network coverage offered by all the mobile telephony providers.
- The reorganisation of the frequencies in the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands will take place at night, from 21 July to 16 August 2014. It is not expected to cause any inconvenience to customers, other than a few possible brief interruptions in coverage during the night, giving the operators the time to restart some components once they have been reprogrammed.
- The mobile telephony operators are working closely to prepare and carry out the work. They are striving, together, to minimise any inconvenience to their customers. They are supported in this process by OFCOM. The new frequency arrangement will enable them to use the spectra and band positions in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz ranges in accordance with the licence which has been awarded. They will therefore be able to meet the ever growing demand for broadband mobile services, to extend their networks using modern technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and to offer high-quality services to consumers in Switzerland.
- The last frequency reorganisation took place in 2009/2010 in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands. The mobile telephony service providers had already collaborated closely to carry out work, which could be performed without any inconvenience to customers. The experience acquired at that time served as a basis for the planning of the work this summer. Another change is planned for the summer of 2016 in the 2100 MHz band.
Last modification 13.08.2015