Oppo is set to launch a 5G smartphone on Swisscom’s 5G network next month, giving the operator first-mover advantage in Europe.
LG will launch one on the network soon after. Samsung will follow in July and Huawei in the third quarter. Users will be able to access new cloud services, augmented reality (AR) shopping, multiplayer cloud-based gaming, real-time video collaboration and more.
Swisscom’s 5G network is ready to switch on in 43 towns and cities and the company plans to offer nationwide coverage by the end of the year. More 5G-compatible devices are expected to be available by then.
However, before 5G can be turned on, the Swiss Federal Office of Communications must grant the appropriate licence. This approval is expected in the next month.
Firsts at Swisscom
The first 5G devices will run on a proven frequency in the 3.5 GHz band which was previously used for outdoor TV reports and has now been approved by the federal government for mobile communications. This frequency is designed to achieve speeds of up to 2 Gbit/s (5G-fast). During a media event trial, Swisscom demonstrated a peak speed of 1.86 Gbit/s.
Urs Schaeppi, CEO, Swisscom said: "We invented prepaid in 1996, introduced Mobile Unlimited as a world first in 2004 and were the first to build a 4G network in 2012. We intend to ensure Switzerland remains an innovation location.”
All the device manufacturers mentioned are using Qualcomm Technologies 5G solutions, including the Snapdragon 855 with X50 5G modem and antenna modules with integrated RF transceiver, RF front-end and antenna elements.
Christoph Aeschlimann, Chief Technology Officer at Swisscom, said, “Swisscom is committed to maintaining our technology lead and to this end have been working with Qualcomm Technologies and other infrastructure partners for the past few years.
The future of Switzerland as an innovation hub hinges on the network and we are delighted to bring this to consumers in 2019.”
Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm Europe, added, “Qualcomm Technologies is proud to support Swisscom on the launch of the first commercial 5G network in Europe.
"This milestone is testament to the strong collaboration that took place across the ecosystem to accelerate 5G commercialisation by one year, allowing for the arrival new and exciting user experiences – and Qualcomm Technologies is at the heart of all of this. 5G is now here in Europe, ready to fundamentally enrich how we live our lives."