Swisscom has turned on its LTE network, becoming the first provider of next-generation 4G services in the country. At launch the LTE network will be available in 26 locations and it said that it plans to cover 70 per cent of the population with LTE by the end of 2013. The network will operate at 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies.
The carrier said that the new network was necessary due to the vast increase in data used by consumers, which was doubling every 16 months. Swisscom said that at launch the compatible handset choice would be limited to the HTC One XL but that the Samsung Galaxy SIII 4G, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 4G, and Nokia Lumia 920 will follow in early December.
Compatibility for the iPhone 5 would come via a software update it said once network testing had been completed. Swisscom said it will also offer a USB based Huawei modem and a mobile wifi device from ZTE.
The carrier claimed that the network is capable of a theoretical 150Mbps at present with 300Mbps speeds coming at a later date. It plans to invest CHF1.5bn in the expansion of its network through 2016.
The operator is the leading carrier in Switzerland with over 61 per cent market share as of September 2012, according to Informa WCIS statistics.