Swisscom puts faith in bonding for new converged fixed, LTE network

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Swisscom has started trialling its converged mobile and fixed line service, in a bid to improve download speeds.

The technology, called DSL+LTE bonding, combines the bandwidths of fixed and mobile networks. A custom-built LTE receiver passes on mobile data via WLAN to the DSL router. Swisscom said the network uses "intelligent software" to combine the fixed and mobile data speeds.

The trial has been launched after increasing customer demand for streaming HD video and cloud services, Swisscom said.

The operator launched the trial after holding in-house testing and employees using the service.

Initially, the technology offers bandwidth of up to 20MBps but Swisscom is planning to crank up the speeds during later phases of the trial.

Swisscom said the availability of the tech and the potential speeds hinge upon the length of the copper fixed line and 3G and LTE coverage. The test will determine whether a market launch of the technology is actually feasible.

According to figures from the operator, fixed network data is doubling every 16 months. It is already planning to switch off its 2G network by the end of 2020 to refarm the assets as LTE.

It is also planning to launch a tri-band LTE Advanced network in selected parts of Switzerland this summer.

By 2020, Swisscom is also aiming to roll out ultra-fast broadband to around 85 percent of all homes and businesses. Last year it spent CHF1.75 billion (€1.60 billion) on its IT and network infrastructure.