Switzerland’s biggest telco has chosen Chinese firm Huawei as strategic partner and supplier for expansion of its fibre-to-the-street (FTTS) network in areas outside the country’s major urban areas, following successful tests last autumn.
The plans involve laying fibre-optic cabling to within 200 metres of buildings and using the existing copper cables to cover the remaining distance, delivering initial speeds of up to 100Mbps, which could be boosted up to 400Mbps in the next three to four years.
The contract with Huawei primarily covers delivery of the active network components for installation in Swisscom cable ducts and construction projects, and will run for eight years at a cost of around CHF300m ($328m).
Swisscom has already revealed that it plans to invest approximately CHF1.75bn in infrastructure expansion in Switzerland this year, and this contract with Huawei is included within that figure.
The first FTTS tests were launched in the autumn of 2012 in the municipalities of Charrat (Valais), Grandfontaine (Jura) and Flerden (Grisons), and customers in these communities can already use services delivered via FTTS.
Swisscom will start with the rapid expansion of FTTS at other locations at the end of 2013. Swisscom will also provide reseller offers for the other telecommunications and Internet service providers on the new access technology and will thus support competition.