Mobile radio frequencies for 5G awarded in Switzerland

The Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) has successfully awarded new mobile radio frequencies. All three current operators, Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom, could acquire a wide range of new frequencies in an auction. These are required for the development of the high-speed 5G mobile radio technology. The proceeds for the Confederation amount around CHF 380 million. The auction took place between 29 January and 7 February 2019.

On behalf of ComCom, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) successfully auctioned a wide range of additional mobile radio frequencies (700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 3500 MHz). The proceeds in the amount of CHF 379'292'728 will go to the federal treasury as extraordinary revenue.

Four companies applied to take part in the auction: Dense Air Ltd, Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom. All applicants were authorised and participated in the auction. While Dense Air Ltd finally abandoned the purchase of frequency, the network operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom each acquired a broad range of new frequencies:


Salt Sunrise Swisscom
700 MHz FDD 20 MHz 10 MHz 30 MHz
3.5 GHz TDD 80 MHz 100 MHz 120 MHz
(supplemental downlink, SDL)
Salt Sunrise Swisscom Not sold
700 MHz - 10 MHz - 5 MHz
1400 MHz 10 MHz 15 MHz 50 MHz 15 MHz

Five frequency blocks of 5 MHz in the 2600 MHz band and in the 700 and 1400 MHz ranges were not sold. The latter are "supplemental downlink" frequencies that can be used to increase data download capacity in the future. The frequencies that have not been awarded will remain with the Confederation and put out for tender again at a later date.

The companies who participated in the auction must pay the following costs in accordance with the auction results.

  Salt Sunrise Swisscom
Amount due in CHF
94'500'625 89'238'101 195'554'002

The frequencies will be assigned for 15 years, giving the operators long-term planning security to develop their networks. The outcome of the auction has been recorded in a decision that is contestable before the Federal Administrative Court.

Auction results table
Frequency band Dense Air Ltd. Salt Sunrise Swisscom
700 MHz FDD 0 20 MHz 10 MHz 30 MHz
700 MHz SDL 0 0 10 MHz 0
1400 MHz SDL 0 10 MHz 15 MHz 50 MHz
2600 MHz TDD 0 0 0 0
3.5 – 3.8 GHz TDD 0 80 MHz 100 MHz 120 MHz
Auction price 0 94'500'625 89'238'101 195'554'002
FDD: Frequency division duplex => Two radio channels are used for one connection
TDD: Time division duplex => Only one radio channel is used for one connection
SDL: Supplemental downlink => Three radio channels are used for one connection

Graphic: Total frequency configuration of the Swiss mobile operators ater the auction*

Graphic: Total frequency configuration of the Swiss mobile operators after the auction *
*Note: The graph shows the number of frequencies, but not the exact location of these frequencies in each frequency band.

Tender documents

The tender documents can be downloaded from this site. The deadline for submission of candidature documents has been specified as 05.10.2018.

Answers to questions concerning the procedure

The list of questions received by 27 July 2018 and the corresponding answers is published in anonymous form in the attached file.

Last modification 08.02.2019

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