Swiss operator Sunrise Communications has put the first Swiss 5G antenna into operation, only half a year after successfully conducting the world’s most extensive 5G test in Switzerland, together with its technology partner Huawei Technologies.
Sunrise’s 5G network offers fiber-like broadband speeds over a wireless connection and is aimed at business and private customers, rather than the Internet of Things or various industrial applications.
“For the demonstration today, we provided our latest 3GPP-based 5G New Radio equipment and CPE, which enables Sunrise to be one of our first customers in Europe that can show the public the potential of 5G in an end-to-end environment,” said Wang Haito, a spokesperson for Chinese vendor Huawei.
Sunrise calls its product ‘5G for People’ and the company’s CEO Olaf Swantee believes it offers the greatest potential to enable new applications, which is why Sunrise is concentrating all of its efforts on using it to benefit customers, especially those outside of high-population areas.
“As 5G pioneers, we will demonstrate the benefits of high-bandwidth connections — up to 1 Gbit/s—for both business and private customers as early as 2020, even without a fiber optic connection,” said Swantee.
Sunrise also pointed out that the current radiation protection regime in Switzerland was ten times more exacting than similar regulations abroad, warning that the regulations, together with rigid administrative and technical implementing provisions and lengthy mobile network approval procedures, could delay the introduction of 5G and its related performance benefits until 2020 and beyond.
Sunrise isn’t the only major telecommunications provider in Switzerland which is in favour of reforming the country’s non-ionizing radiation rules.
Swisscom expressed the same concerns earlier this year. However, the Swiss parliament refused to relax the rules when the Council of States voted 22 to 21 against the motion in March.