Swisscom

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Swisscom AG
TypePublic (Aktiengesellschaft)
SIXSCMN
Industrytelecommunications Edit this on Wikidata
FoundedOctober 1, 1997; 25 years ago (1997-10-01)
HeadquartersWorblaufen,
Key people
Christoph Aeschlimann
(CEO)
Michael Rechsteiner
(Chairman)
RevenueIncrease SFr 11.183 billion (2021)[1]
Increase SFr 2.066 billion (2021)[1]
Increase SFr 1.833 billion (2021)[1]
Total assetsIncrease SFr 24.801 billion (2021)[2]
Total equityIncrease SFr 10.813 billion (2021)[2]
OwnerSwiss Government (51%)
Number of employees
18,905 (2021)[1]
SubsidiariesFastweb
Websiteswisscom.ch/en/about.html
Primary ASN3303
Traffic Levels1Tbps+[3]

Swisscom AG is a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland.[4] Its headquarters are located in Worblaufen near Bern.[5] The Swiss government owns 51.0 percent of Swisscom AG.[6] According to its own published data, Swisscom holds a market share of 56% for mobile, 50% for broadband and 37% for TV telecommunication in Switzerland.[7] Its Italian subsidiary Fastweb is attributed 16% of private clients and 29% of corporate clients share of Italian broadband and is also active in the mobile market.[8]

The Swiss telegraph network was first set up in 1852, followed by telephones in 1877. The two networks were combined with the postal service in 1920 to form Postal Telegraph and Telephone (PTT). The Swiss telecommunications market was deregulated in 1997. Telecom PTT was spun off and rebranded Swisscom ahead of a partial privatisation in 1997. The present-day Swisscom owns the protected brand NATEL, which is used and known only in Switzerland.[9]

In 2001, 25% of Swisscom Mobile was sold to Vodafone. In 2007, Swisscom acquired a majority stake in Italy's second-biggest telecom company Fastweb.

History[edit]

Pioneers (1852–1911)[edit]

Switzerland's entry into the telecommunications era came in 1851, with the passage of legislation giving the Swiss government control over the development of a telegraph network throughout the country. The government's initial plans called for the creation of three primary telegraph lines, as well as a number of secondary networks. In order to build equipment for the system, the government established the Atelier Fédéral de Construction des Télégraphes (Federal Workshop for the Construction of Telegraphs).

In July 1852, the first leg of the country's telegraph system—between St. Gallen and Zurich—was operational. By the end of that year, most of the country's main cities had been connected to the telegraph system. In 1855, the network was extended with the first underwater cable, connecting Winkel-Stansstad and Bauen-Flüelen. Night service was also launched that year, starting in Basel, St. Gallen and Bellinzona.

Telegraph traffic continued to rise in the following decade, but was nevertheless overtaken by the telephone.

Switzerland's entry into the telephone age came in 1877, when the first experimental phone lines appeared, starting with a line linking the post office building with the Federal Palace and then with a link, using the existing telegraph line, between Bern and Thun. The following year, the government passed legislation establishing a monopoly on the country's telephone network. By 1880, Switzerland's first private network had been created in Zurich. This was a central system with the capacity for 200 lines.

Basel, Bern and Geneva all launched their own local networks between 1881 and 1882. One year later, the first intercity telephone line was established, linking Zurich's private exchange with Winterthur's public system. Telephone numbers were introduced in 1890, replacing the initial system whereby callers had been able to ask for their party by name.

Switzerland began testing its first public phone booths in 1904. Initially restricted to local calls, the public telephones allowed national calling for the first time in 1907.[10][11]

1912–1965[edit]

The first automatic telephone exchanges were installed by private networks in 1912. By 1917, a semi-automatic exchange had been installed in Zurich-Hottingen.

In 1920, the Swiss government created the Swiss PTT, combining the country's postal services and telegraph and telephone systems into a single, government-controlled entity.[12]

PTT began telex services in 1934, and by 1936 had linked up the cities of Zurich, Basel and Bern, which were then linked via Zurich to the international market.

Space-age communications (1966–1981)[edit]

The original Telstar, the first telecommunications satellite to be launched into space.

Telstar – the first telecommunications satellite – was launched into space in 1962.[13] In 1974, the Leuk satellite earth station went into operation in the canton of Wallis.

Moving towards mobile in the 1980s[edit]

Automation enabled PTT to introduce pulse-metering for local calls in 1963. In 1966, PTT introduced automated international dialing services, initially from Montreux and achieved full coverage in 1982.

In 1970, PTT led an inter-organisational work group of Swiss telecommunications players, in an effort to create an integrated digital telecommunications network (IFS).

In 1976, the company launched facsimile transmission services from its customer service centers. Two years later, PTT established its first mobile telephone network, called NATEL.

In 1980, PTT enabled facsimile transmission for the home and office market.

The telecommunications business became known as Swiss Telecom PTT.

Public company in the 21st Century[edit]

The company initially formed a Unisource partnership with the Netherlands' KPN and Sweden's Telia. Although the Unisource partnership attempted to enter a number of markets around the world, including Malaysia and India, it deintegrated after several years of losses.

Telecom PTT's set up the service provider Blue Window (later Bluewin), which became the country's leading Internet service provider (ISP).

In 1997, Swiss government passed new legislation fully deregulating the Swiss telecommunications market. As part of that process, Telecom PTT was transformed into a special public limited company, its name was changed to Swisscom on 1 October 1997, its shares were listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange, and it conducted a public offering of its shares in 1998.

In 1999, the company acquired Germany's publicly listed Debitel, then the third-largest mobile services provider on the German market.

The company formed six primary business units, and in 2001, it sold a 25% stake in Swisscom Mobile to England's Vodafone. Vodafone was a major investor in so-called 3G (third-generation) mobile telephone technology.

In 2000, Swisscom won a UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems) license.

In the early 2000s, Swisscom also started rolling out DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband technology with 200,000 subscribers by the beginning of 2003.

In 2002, Swisscom Eurospot was founded (later Swisscom Hospitality Services (SHS)). The company originally specialised in providing High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) services to hotel guests in European 4- and 5-star hotels.[14]

In May 2003, its newly formed subsidiary, Swisscom Eurospot, merged with the Netherlands' Aervik.[10][11]

Modern times[edit]

The former state-owned PTT was privatized in several stages from 1988 onward and became a public limited company with special legal status in October 1998.[15] The Swiss Confederation currently holds 51.0% of the share capital.[15] The Telecommunications Enterprise Act limits outside participation to 49.9% of the share capital.[16]

In its 5 April 2006 message, the Federal Council proposed Swisscom to be completely privatized. On 10 May 2006, the National Council declined the proposal. On 20 May 2006, the Advisory Committee of the Council of States advised the Council of States to endorse the proposal – but only so that it could be referred back to the Federal Council for revision.

In 2007, the 25% stake in Swisscom Mobile AG, which had been sold to Vodafone six years earlier, was repurchased and the mobile telephony, fixed network and solutions businesses were merged organisationally into the new company Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd.[17] In the first half of 2007, Swisscom acquired a majority holding in the Italian telecommunications provider Fastweb, owner of the second largest broadband network in Italy. During the offer period, Swisscom acquired 80.7% of Fastweb's share capital, making it 82.4% of Fastweb shares by the cut-off date of 22 May. The total transaction amounted to 6.9 billion Swiss Francs.[18]

Swisscom announced its new visual identity on 14 December 2007.[19] The previous sub-brands of Swisscom Fixnet, Swisscom Mobile and Swisscom Solutions ceased to exist on 1 January 2008.[20] As part of the restructuring, Swisscom redesigned its logo and transformed it into a moving picture element, an innovation for Switzerland and the industry.[21]

On 23 July 2013, the CEO of Swisscom, Carsten Schloter was found dead from an apparent suicide and Urs Schaeppi was appointed interim CEO.[22] Schaeppi's appointment was made permanent in November 2013.[23] As of June 2018, Swisscom ranks on Forbes "The World's Largest Public Companies" list, the Global 2000,[24] at number 520.[25]

In June 2015, Swisscom Hospitality Services became part of a new company, Hoist Group, following its acquisition by the Sweden-based HoistLocatel.[26]

In June 2018, Danish software firm Nordija partnered with Swisscom to develop TVaaS 2.0.[27][28][29]

In 2019, Swisscom paid CHF 240 million to TX Group for the acquisition of the outstanding 31% stake in Swisscom Directories AG.[30]

On 17 April 2019, Swisscom began to deploy its 5G network.[31] At present, the company delivers 5G service in 110 cities and villages including Zurich, Geneva and Bern as well as rural and touristic regions.[32]

In June 2019, Swisscom, SK Telecom and Elisa together launched the world's first 5G roaming service. From 17 July 2019, Swisscom customers with a 5G mobile phone were given access to the new 5G data network in Finland and by the end of July in South Korea.[31] At the same time, Swisscom customers database exceeded 6 million mobile subscriptions.[32]

On 1 June 2022, Urs Schaeppi stepped down from his position as CEO of Swisscom and was succeeded by Christoph Aeschlimann.[33]

Business Areas[edit]

Bluewin tower in Zürich

Swisscom consists of the customer segments Residential Customers, Business Customers & Wholesale and IT, Network & Infrastructure. The Group also comprises the Digital Business division and Group companies such as Fastweb in Italy.[34] In addition, there are other Group companies in the individual business lines.[35]

Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd[edit]

As of 1 January 2008, all operational activities of Swisscom Ltd in Switzerland were outsourced to Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd. While Swisscom Ltd has since operated purely as a holding company, the activities of its wholly owned subsidiary Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd encompass the former Fixnet, Mobile and Solutions business units, whose activities have been restructured into Residential Customers and Business Customers according to customer segment. In addition, the IT platforms and the fixed-network and mobile communications infrastructure have been merged into the IT, Network & Infrastructure division.[36]

Residential customers[edit]

The Residential Customers segment comprises mobile and fixed-network telephony, IPTV digital TV (blue TV) and the provision of broadband internet access (DSL). Swisscom combined its entertainment offering under the umbrella of the "blue" brand from 2020. The previous names "Swisscom TV", "Bluewin", "Teleclub" and "Kitag Kinos" have disappeared.

Business customers[edit]

The Business Customers segment helps business customers to plan, implement and operate information and communication infrastructure (ICT). The portfolio includes cloud, outsourcing, workplace and IoT solutions, as well as mobile communications solutions for mobile working and communication, network solutions, office networking, business process optimisation, SAP solutions, security and authentication solutions and services tailored to banks. The Swisscom Digital Business unit focuses on digital services for SMEs through localsearch, activities in the fintech area and blockchain-based services. Swisscom Wholesale provides other Swiss telecommunications providers with commercial voice, data and broadband products.

IT, network & infrastructure[edit]

The core tasks of Swisscom IT, Network & Infrastructure include the construction, operation and maintenance of Swisscom’s comprehensive fixed-network and mobile communications infrastructure. This division includes the corresponding IT platforms.

Fastweb[edit]

Fastweb operates the second largest network in Italy and offers voice, data, internet and IP TV services to private and business customers. In the first half of 2007, Swisscom acquired a majority stake in the Italian Fastweb. The cost of acquiring the stake amounted to around five billion Swiss francs.[37]

Telecommunication Tower in St. Chrischona is the most important in north-west of Switzerland

Other business areas[edit]

Other business areas include business segments that do not belong directly to, but are related to, the core businesses of telecommunications and IT.[38]

Brands[edit]

In Switzerland, Swisscom offers products and services from its core business under the main Swisscom brand. Swisscom also sells products and services under the Wingo secondary brand as well as third-party brands such as Coop Mobile and M-Budget Mobile. Other brands, such as cablex and localsearch, are in Swisscom’s portfolio and characterise the company’s other areas of business. Abroad, Swisscom’s presence is primarily in Italy through the Fastweb brand.[39]

Business figures[edit]

The Group’s financials for 2021 are as follows:[40]

Category Value 2021
Group revenue CHF 11,183 million
EBITDA CHF 4,478 million
Net income CHF 1,833 million
Capital expenditure CHF 2,286 million
Employees 18,905
Dividend per share CHF 22.00

Number of customers and market share

Operational data at end of year in thousands 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2021
Fixed telephony access lines in Switzerland 3,013 2,778 2,367 1,778 1,523 1,424
Broadband access lines retail in Switzerland 1,727 1,890 1,992 2,033 2,043 2,037
TV access lines in Switzerland 791 1,165 1,476 1,519 1,554 1,592
Mobile access lines 6,217 6,540 6,612 6,551 6,224 6,177
Broadband access lines in Italy 1,767 2,072 2,355 2,547 2,747 2,750

Governance[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

As of 31 December 2021, the Board of Directors comprised the following non-executive members:[41]

Name Function Taking office at the AGM
Michael Rechtsteiner Chairman 2019
Roland Abt Member 2016
Alain Carrupt Member, employee representative 2016
Guus Dekkers Member 2021
Frank Esser Deputy Chairman 2014
Barbara Frei Member 2012
Sandra Lathion-Zweifel Member, employee representative 2019
Anna Mossberg Member 2018
Renzo Simoni Member, representative of the Confederation 2017

Group Executive Board[edit]

The following table shows the composition of the Group Executive Board as at 31 December 2021.[42]

Name Function Appointed to the Group Executive Board as of
Urs Schaeppi CEO Swisscom Ltd March 2006
Urs Lehner Head of Business Customers June 2017
Klementina Pejic CPO Swisscom Ltd February 2021
Christoph Aeschlimann Head of IT, Network & Infrastructure February 2019
Dirk Wierzbitzki Head of Residential Customers June 2017
Eugen Stermetz CFO Swisscom Ltd March 2021

Locations[edit]

Swisscom is headquartered in Worblaufen. In addition, Swisscom owns 90 other office buildings in which around 18,000 Swisscom employees and partners throughout Switzerland work. Swisscom also operates 120 shops across Switzerland.[43]

Innovation[edit]

Swisscom StartUp Challenge[edit]

The Swisscom StartUp Challenge provides selected tech startups the opportunity to join a tailor-made week-long business acceleration program in Silicon Valley. The Challenge is organized in collaboration with VentureLab.[44]

Swisscom Ventures[edit]

Through its venture capital arm, Swisscom promotes start-ups developing promising solutions in the field of information, communication and entertainment technology.[45]

Corporate Social Responsibility[edit]

Swisscom was ranked 20th in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World in 2015.[46] Swisscom has been granted the Sustainability Award 2020 by World Finance as the world's most sustainable organisation in the telecommunications industry.[47]

Competition[edit]

In the Swiss Telecommunication market, the main competitors are Sunrise UPC and Salt. In Italy, Swisscom’s main competitors are Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone Italy and Wind Tre.[48]

Connect network test[edit]

In 2021, as in the previous year, Swisscom was named the Swiss mobile communications provider with the best network by the trade journal "Connect". The test results of all three Swiss providers are year after year very good compared to providers in Germany and Austria.[49]

Criticism[edit]

In a survey[50] conducted by the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger, some consumers criticized Swisscom's international roaming rates and its subscription rates for mobile phones. The main concern of the consumers in the survey was that they found the rates to be too high.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2021". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Annual Report 2021 - Balance Sheet". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  3. ^ "PeeringDB".
  4. ^ "The Swiss telecommunications market". International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Company profile: products, employees, key figures". swisscom.ch. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  6. ^ "Swiss Confederation's share in Swisscom". Swisscom. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Company profile".
  8. ^ "Annual Report 2017".
  9. ^ "A million customers already enjoy Swisscom TV" (PDF). www.swisscom.ch. Swisscom. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Swisscom AG -- Company History".
  11. ^ a b "History of Swisscom AG – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  12. ^ "History of SCHWEIZERISCHE POST-, TELEFON- UND TELEGRAFEN-BETRIEBE – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  13. ^ Administrator, NASA (8 July 2015). "Telstar at 50". NASA. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Serving hoteliers since 2002". swisscom – Business – about us. swisscom. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Annual Report 2014 Key Financial Figures". Swisscom. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Bundesgesetz über die Organisation der Telekommunikationsunternehmung des Bundes". www.admin.ch. Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  17. ^ Gordon Smith, Haig Simonian (19 December 2006). "Vodafone sells Swisscom Mobile stake". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  18. ^ swisscom. "Takeover offer for Fastweb shares was successful". Swisscom. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  19. ^ "History of Brand" (PDF). swiss.com. 14 December 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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  21. ^ "Swisscom gets a new look". swisscom.ch. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  22. ^ Fairchild, Caroline (23 July 2013). "CEO Found Dead in Apparent Suicide". Huffington Post.
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  24. ^ "The World's Largest Public Companies". Forbes. 2018. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011.
  25. ^ "The List:2021 Global 2000". Forbes. 13 May 2021.
  26. ^ "HoistLocatel and Swisscom Hospitality Services are now Hoist Group". hoistgroup – News & Press – Press Releases. hoistgroup. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  27. ^ "Nordija partners with Swisscom on TVaaS 2.0". Digital TV Europe. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Swisscom Broadcast opens up new TVaaS platform". www.csimagazine.com. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Nordija partners with Swisscom Broadcast". Broadband TV News. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Swisscom Geschäftsbericht 2019" (PDF) (in German). Swisscom. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  31. ^ a b "Swisscom signs first 5G roaming agreements with SK Telecom and Elisa". Telecom Tech News. 18 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  32. ^ a b "SK Telecom Launches the World's First 5G Roaming Service With Swisscom". Light Reading. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  33. ^ "Urs Schaeppi steps down from Swisscom". 3 February 2022.
  34. ^ "Organisation". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  35. ^ "Group companies". Swisscom Annual Report 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  36. ^ "Business model". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  37. ^ "Swisscom übernimmt italienische Fastweb". Swissinfo. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  38. ^ "Group companies". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  39. ^ "Swisscom brands". Swisscom Annual Report 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  40. ^ "KPI's". Swisscom Annual Report 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  41. ^ "Board of Directors". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  42. ^ "Group Executive Board". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  43. ^ "Corporate Real Estate Management". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  44. ^ "Swisscom launches Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2017 Startupticker.ch | The Swiss Startup News channel". www.startupticker.ch. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  45. ^ "Innovation". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  46. ^ "The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World". OGM. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  47. ^ "Sustainability Awards 2020". OGM. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  48. ^ "Vision, values, customer promise and strategy". Swisscom. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  49. ^ "THE GREAT 2021 MOBILE NETWORK TEST IN SWITZERLAND". Connect Testlab. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  50. ^ "Service public: Die Swisscom ärgert am meisten". tagesanzeiger.ch/. Retrieved 15 January 2017.

External links[edit]