Reorganisation of frequencies (refarming) in the mobile telephony networks

Biel/Bienne, 25.03.2014 - All mobile telephony frequencies were reallocated by the auction held in February 2012. As a result, certain frequencies will be used in the future by a different operator than hitherto. Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom have until the end of 2014 at the latest to proceed with exchanges in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands. The preparations are underway; the process has been drawn up jointly by the three licensees and approved by the Communications Commission (ComCom). The work will take place at night, between 21 July and 16 August 2014. In the final analysis, nothing will change for customers; they will be able to continue to use their mobile phones as they have done until now. The only possible consequence for users: the work carried out in the summer might cause brief interruptions on the network, but only at night.

As the Office which is responsible for managing the spectrum, OFCOM prepared and implemented the tender for mobile telephony frequencies on behalf of ComCom. In 2012, operators were able to acquire an allotment of frequencies which meets their future needs. They are now able to react adequately to the growing demand for mobile broadband services, to equip their networks with the latest technologies, notably LTE (Long Term Evolution), and to offer consumers in Switzerland high-quality mobile telephony services.

To implement the results of the auction, the three operators Orange, Sunrise and Swisscom must proceed with exchanges of frequencies in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands. They are working in close collaboration to prepare this reorganisation, which will be carried out at night in the period between 21 July and 16 August 2014. They benefit from the support of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM). Customers of mobile telephony providers are otherwise affected by these changes apart from possible brief local interruptions which may occur at night during the work, giving the operators time to restart some elements of the network.

The last reorganisation of frequencies, which took place in 2009/2010 in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands, could be performed without problems and enabled operators to acquire experience in this area.

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