Sunday, 26 May 2019

Switzerland joins Friday 5G launch party

By Mary Lennighan, for Total Telecom
Friday 05 April 19

Sunrise launches '5G for People' service; home Internet offering available to selected users only

Sunrise on Friday declared itself in the vanguard of global 5G development, announcing the launch of its first 5G service. The Swiss telco clearly chose its launch date carefully, coming as it does alongside the arrival of 5G services from international big hitters Verizon…

Sunrise on Friday declared itself in the vanguard of global 5G development, announcing the launch of its first 5G service.

The Swiss telco clearly chose its launch date carefully, coming as it does alongside the arrival of 5G services from international big hitters Verizon, SK Telecom and South Korea's other major mobile operators.

However, Sunrise is not quite on the same playing field just yet.

Its '5G for People' offering is a fixed broadband replacement service, providing customers with an in-home, or business, Internet service that offers speeds analogous to fixed-line offerings.

At launch the service is capable of providing speeds of several hundred megabits per second, but "as the rollout of the 5G network continues and further offers are added, bandwidths will continuously (sic) reach fibre-like speeds of 1 Gbps," Swisscom said.

The service covers 80%-90% of 152 towns and villages, although major cities appear to be absent from the list. The telco is essentially targeting areas lacking in fibre-optic connectivity.

The 5G offering is not fully commercial yet. Sunrise says it has provided its 5G Internet Box free of charge to "selected Sunrise pioneers."

Nonetheless, as Sunrise itself admits, the service is a stepping stone to full 5G offerings. The next stage will see it roll out commercial offers for residential and business customers and "soon" it will share launch plans for 5G mobile hotspots and smartphones, it said.

"Switzerland is among the 5G pioneers at a global level with South Korea, Japan, the USA and China," Sunrise said.

That statement is a little premature, but it's a good start.

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