When 5G was considered high-frequency millimetre wave, most expected the short reach would make it a poor choice for rural areas. However, 22 of the 24 current 5G deployments are mid-band, which seems to have decent reach with Massive MIMO. (Limited data.) Sunrise saw an opportunity to go after a market that Swisscom was neglecting. It offers both fixed and mobile. 

In June 2019, Sunrise is covering 80% or more of 248 villages. It was able to do that simply by upgrading the existing towers, not terribly expensive. (I'd guess about US$500 per customer but I don't have enough data.) It intends to cover most of the country by the end of 2019. 

It's quite possible that the mid-band networks will be fine in many rural areas.

“5G for People”: more than 248 cities/villages now on 5G

Zurich, 28 June 2019

  • Sunrise is now providing more than 248 cities/villages all over Switzerland with 5G, as of the end of June 2019.
  • Quality and performance are what count: Sunrise is developing 5G so that maximum speed is always on offer. Only cities/villages with population coverage over 80% are being counted.
  • Sunrise customers use 5G as “fibre optics through the air” to replace slower landline connections, and with the latest 5G smartphones.

Sunrise is continuing to implement its “5G for the people” plan to secure Europe’s top position in digital infrastructure for Switzerland. Sunrise is now providing more than 248 cities/villages throughout Switzerland with 5G, offering maximum 5G speeds and between 80% and 98% local population coverage in each. To progress the rollout as quickly as possible, 5G is mainly being deployed at existing antenna sites during the first phase.

“At the beginning of April, we put our 5G network into operation with select customers and became the first 5G provider in Switzerland and Europe. Since then, we have been able to increase our lead. Sunrise’s 5G network is the most advanced in the country and has set a benchmark for coverage quality. When it comes to speed, we are also focusing on the best performance. We don’t differentiate between “fast” and “broad” 5G. Our customers want reliable and fast 5G coverage, and that’s what we offer them”, says Olaf Swantee, CEO of Sunrise.

An overview of progress so far can be found in the current location list and coverage map. As it continues to roll out 5G, Sunrise is focused on providing the highest speeds (up to 2 Gbit/s) and great coverage quality. That’s why only the 248 cities and villages where 5G reaches at least 80% of the population appear on the location list.

More than 248 cities/villages are currently covered by 5G, including parts of large cities like Zurich. These can be found on the coverage map by searching for villages and addresses. Many 5G locations are outside of urban centres, so customers without fibre optic connections can experience fast 5G Internet connections, via “fibre optics in the air”.

Leading range of 5G devices

Since the beginning of April, selected 5G Sunrise pioneers have benefited from fast Internet connections through the air, at home or in the office, using the Sunrise Internet Box 5G. Computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are easily connected to the Sunrise Internet Box 5G via Wi-Fi. Now, customers have Internet speeds ten times faster on average than they had before via (DSL) landline connections.

Customers in more than 248 cities and villages can now benefit from the new generation of 5G smartphones, e.g. with faster surfing, quicker response times on apps, and video streaming. In another premiere for Switzerland and Europe, Sunrise launched the HTC 5G Hub, which offers superfast 5G connections at up to 2 Gbit/s on the go, at home, or at the office, etc. This is also suitable as a landline replacement where fast Internet is not available. With these offers, Sunrise provides customers with the widest selection of 5G devices in Switzerland.

Supply throughout Switzerland by the end of the year

Sunrise is constantly supplying new cities/villages with 5G. The company is actively implementing its plan to provide the entire Swiss population with 5G and will offer the technology in all regions of Switzerland by the end of 2019. With the continued development and availability of 5G networks, broadband connections will continuously reach fibre optic-like speeds of up to 2 Gbit/s.