Swisscom targets nationwide Gigabit LTE coverage by 2019, plans to reinvent network

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Swisscom is planning to deploy nationwide Gigabit LTE coverage from next year and 5G from 2020, as part of a wide-ranging network transformation project it is conducting with Ericsson.

The Swedish vendor will deploy a full-stack telco cloud including network slicing functionality, which it said would address Swisscom's cost, efficiency and flexibility needs, as well as increasing capacity and reducing latency.

The operator will also deploy Ericsson's radio access products, including small cells, and core products including full stack network function virtualisation infrastructure, virtualised evolved packet core, and virtualised IP multimedia subsystem.

Ericsson will also handle network optimisation, planning, design and integration of the new systems.

The vendor claimed the project would help Swisscom to speed up its production of new massive and critical machine type communication use cases across the likes of factory automation, smart grids, intelligent mobility and digital health.

Heinz Herren, CIO and CTO at Swisscom [pictured], said: “We would like to offer the best network to our customers in Switzerland – today and in the future. That's why we invest massively in the latest mobile network technologies such as Gigabit LTE and 5G."

[Read more: Swisscom CTO goes on offensive about "strict" Swiss regulation hindering 5G]

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Europe and Latin America at Ericsson, added: "Swisscom has been leading all generations of mobile technologies – from 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G development – in partnership with us, and now they will continue to lead the market with Gigabit LTE and 5G deployment.

"5G is enabling new market opportunities for operators, industries and society as a whole. With its ambitious 5G rollout plans, Swisscom is seizing this opportunity.”

Swisscom started its Gigabit LTE rollout earlier this month by deploying Ericsson's Radio Dot technology in its retail stores. It is planning to introduce the technology to 11 cities by the end of the year.

Its network already offers top speeds of 300MBps to 80 percent of the population and 450MBps to 60 percent of Swiss.

Last year, both telcos began working with Swiss companies to trial industrial applications of 5G and the Internet of Things.