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Swisscom is the Swiss market leader in the field of telecommunications. Since acquiring Fastweb in 2007, Swisscom’s international activities have been concentrated mainly in Italy. Fastweb is one of Italy’s largest broadband telecoms companies. Swisscom’s corporate strategy is focused on strengthening the company’s core business, which relies on a high-performance, secure and always-available infrastructure. Swisscom is also looking to grow by offering differentiated products and services and increasing the deployment of ICT. Major investments in network infrastructure ensure that Swisscom will continue to satisfy all its customers’ needs well into the future. Sustainable management and long-term responsibility are firmly enshrined in the company’s corporate culture. Swisscom owes its business success to the dedication and commitment of a 21,000-strong workforce which continually strives to develop new solutions for customers and the information society. Swisscom consistently invests in staff training and development and is training more than 900 apprentices in Switzerland.

Swisscom generates over 80% of its net revenue and operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from business operations in Switzerland. The company offers a full portfolio of products and services for fixed-line telephony, broadband, mobile communications and digital TV throughout Switzerland and is mandated by the federal government to provide basic telecoms services to all sections of the population throughout Switzerland. Swisscom offers corporate customers a comprehensive range of communications solutions as well as individually tailored solutions. Swisscom is also a leading provider specialising in the integration and operation of IT systems in the fields of outsourcing, workplaces, SAP and banking. Customers can purchase their products and services via a wide range of sales channels. They can check out products and services first hand and receive comprehensive advice in Swisscom’s own shops as well as in numerous partner outlets. They can also obtain product information and order products and services at any time online via the Swisscom website.

In the digital customer centre, which is also accessible via the Internet, customers can manage their personal details, subscriptions and bills on their own. Swisscom fosters close ties with all stakeholder groups: shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, the general public, public authorities and, above all, its customers. It has long been committed to its Swiss roots and endeavours to ensure that all citizens benefit from leading-edge technologies. This is reflected in Swisscom’s solution-oriented approach, which is geared to serving the common good as well as the interests of the company.

See www.swisscom.ch

Swisscom brand

The Swisscom brand is managed strategically as an intangible asset and an important element of the group’s reputation management. The brand’s main role is to provide optimum support for Swisscom’s multi-faceted business activities and act to attract and motivate current and potential staff. To achieve this the brand must have a coherent and high-quality image, while also being sufficiently flexible for new themes and new business opportunities as they arise. It must be able to develop and redefine itself continually in an increasingly digital and fast-moving world.

The Swisscom Group offers core-business products and services under the Swisscom brand. It also has other brands in its portfolio which are associated with other themes and business areas. Outside Switzerland, Swisscom’s main market is Italy, where it operates under the Fastweb brand. The strategic management and development of the entire brand portfolio is an integral part of corporate communications.

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Swisscom has consolidated its business activities in healthcare under Swisscom Health AG and is continuing the strategy of positioning its brand in the core Information & Communication Technology (ICT) business. The Swisscom brand also creates significant added value in banking. In healthcare as in banking it is critical that customer data is managed responsibly. The Swisscom brand stands for trustworthiness and security in this regard.

The ongoing success of Swisscom TV has enhanced Swisscom’s credibility in the entertainment business. The Teleclub, Kitag and Cinetrade brands, also operated by Swisscom, make a further contribution to positioning the Group in the digital entertainment market. Other progressive products with a market presence under the Swisscom brand or – for example in the energy sector – under the tiko brand, reinforce Swisscom’s image as a simple, inspiring and trustworthy companion in the rapidly changing digital world.

In 2015 Swisscom was once again crowned by consumers as the Most Trusted Brand in three different categories in the Reader’s Digest annual survey, confirming that awareness of the Swisscom brand remains high among consumers in Switzerland. The attributes of “trustworthiness”, “reliability” and “high quality standards” represent a strong competitive advantage and spur the company on to offer the best always and everywhere.

Trustworthiness and service remain important factors in affirming the trust of existing customers and winning new customers for Swisscom, while also helping to underscore the importance of Swisscom for Switzerland: Swisscom is part of a modern Switzerland, is always recognisable as a Swiss company and positions itself clearly and credibly through its stance on sustainability. All this rounds off the positive image of the Swisscom brand and enriches the group’s multi-faceted customer relationships. This is one reason why the reputation values achieved by Swisscom are exceptionally high for the telecommunications industry worldwide.

From the corporate perspective, this picture is confirmed. According to the survey “Best Swiss Brands 2015” conducted by Interbrand, the Swisscom brand remained in sixth place in the reporting year, putting it among the most valuable Swiss brands, with a monetary brand value of over CHF 5 bil­lion.

Swisscom’s network and IT infrastructure

Network infrastructure in Switzerland

Bandwidth requirements in the Swiss fixed telephone network double every 16 months – and once a year in the case of mobile telecommunications. This is because customers today want to use applications such as HD television, video conferencing and cloud services at anytime, anywhere and on different devices. At the heart of the network of the future is Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which makes such a wide range of uses possible. The technology is the same regardless of the selected transmission method. It works both for copper and fibre-optic connections. Swisscom will switch over all of its products and services to this forward-looking technology by the end of 2017. By enabling faster and more flexible processes and operations, Swisscom itself will become more competitive along with its business customers as well as Switzerland as a business hub. Swisscom will also be able to fulfil the demands of its residential customers to have constant access to their data from anywhere and on any device. All IP offers the basis for the digitalisation of the Swiss economy.

Switzerland already has one of the best IT and telecoms infrastructures in the world. According to OECD findings, Switzerland leads the world in terms of broadband penetration (48.9%), ahead of the Netherlands and Denmark (source: OECD Broadband Portal June 2015, data from December 2014). This is also confirmed by the “State of the Internet Report” published by the technology service company Akamai in October 2015. According to this report, Switzerland ranks first in Europe and fourth globally in respect of the availability of ultra-fast broadband. In mobile communications, broadband LTE coverage now extends to 98% of the population, making Swisscom the largest network operator in Switzerland by far, both in the fixed and mobile network.

To drive forward ultra-fast broadband provision in Switzerland, Swisscom has opted for a broad, innovative mix of technologies. Alongside Fibre to the Home (FTTH), technology such as Fibre to the Street (FTTS) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB) will play a key role here; in other words, optical fibre is getting ever closer to the client.

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Yet, it is not only network expansion which is subject to constant change but also the way in which data is transported across the remaining copper cables. Vectoring doubles the capacity of copper cables, while G.fast, the successor to VDSL, will soon permit bandwidths of up to 500 Mbps on copper cables. As at the end of 2015, Swisscom had established more than 2.9 million connections to its ultra-fast broadband service (speeds in excess of 50 Mbps) through a technology mix. Of this number, around 2.0 million lines were equipped with the latest fibre-optic technology. Swisscom is an international leader in this regard.

Swisscom is aiming to supply 85% of households and businesses in Switzerland with ultra-fast broadband (speeds in excess of 100 Mbps) by the end of 2020. Its long-term plans for network construction are founded on the vision of every Swiss municipality enjoying almost 100% ultra-fast broadband coverage. In remote regions of Switzerland Swisscom will honour its universal service provision mandate and is seeking new technical solutions to deliver higher bandwidths to these regions. For example, it is testing DSL-LTE bonding, a technology that combines the bandwidths of the fixed-line and mobile phone networks and thus enables a far superior customer experience.

In 2012, Swisscom was the first mobile provider in Switzerland to launch 4G/LTE commercially. Today, it is already providing 4G/LTE coverage to 98% of the Swiss population. In urban regions with particularly high traffic along streets and in busy public places, 4G/LTE microcells ensure the required network capacity. In this context, Swisscom has developed its own microcell for installation in a manhole, which will be improving coverage from 2016. Swisscom is increasingly installing dedicated antenna systems in large business premises and indoor public areas. 4G+ (LTE advanced) installed in urban areas already provides mobile Internet bandwidth speeds of up to 300 Mbps, with speeds of up to 425 Mbps having been achieved in the autumn of 2015. Swisscom’s offering is therefore leading the way, both in Switzerland and by international standards. Mobile telephony is also keeping up with the times. While until recently voice telephony was only carried over the 2G and 3G technologies, following the introduction of VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) in June 2015 and WiFi Calling in August 2015, an IP-based voice service is now also available. To ensure that it will still be able to satisfy the rising demand from customers for data volumes in future, Swisscom is continuously expanding its mobile phone network and investing in new technologies. As the 22-year-old 2G mobile phone generation needs 30% of antenna capacity but can only handle 0.5% of data traffic, Swisscom has decided only to support 2G until the end of 2020.

See www.swisscom.ch/​networkcoverage

Swisscom is continually expanding its broadband network, extending the product range and increasing the number of antenna sites. Swisscom is committed to deploying modern, needs-appropriate technologies in order to ensure efficiency and compliance with contemporary zoning requirements while also minimising emissions. It coordinates site expansions with other mobile providers wherever feasible and already shares around 22% of its 7,400 antenna sites with other providers. At the end of 2015, Swisscom had a good 5,200 exterior units and 2,200 mobile communication masts in buildings. And with over 2,200 hotspots in Switzerland, Swisscom is also the country’s leading provider of public wireless local area networks.

Network infrastructure in Italy

Fastweb’s network infrastructure consists of a fibre-optic network spanning a total distance of around 40,000 kilometres, reaching over 50% of the Italian population. In this way, it supplies more than six million households and businesses with ultra-fast broadband at speeds of up to 100 Mbps, based on Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Street (FTTS). Fastweb is continuing to expand the ultra-fast broadband network and by the end of 2016 aims to cover around 7.5 million households and businesses, or around 30% of the population.

It also signed an agreement with its technology partners in the first quarter of 2015 to further strengthen the fibre-optic network with technologies such as vectoring, VDSL enhanced and G. fast. These technologies will provide Fastweb customers with connection speeds of over 100 Mbps and up to 500 Mbps from 2016. In addition, thanks to wholesale services provided by well-established Italian operators, Fastweb reaches customers who are not directly connected to its own network.

While Fastweb does not have its own mobile network, it offers proprietary mobile services based on an agreement with another mobile operator (MVNO model).

Swiss IT infrastructure

Swisscom operates 24 data centres in Switzerland. The capacity utilisation of these data centres is increasing year after year, which is why Swisscom is continuously adding to capacity. The newly constructed data centre in Berne Wankdorf opened in the autumn of 2014. Swisscom is also expanding existing data centres in the Olten-Zurich region in order to allow for further growth. In addition to cloud services in all their forms, classic IT services continue to play an important role for Swisscom. The volume of data stored has almost doubled to a current figure of 36 petabytes. Through its on-demand contracts with innovative partner companies, Swisscom is able to ensure sufficient capacity and the deployment of efficient technologies at all times.

The growing virtualisation of classic telecommunications functions – for example the growing convergence of conventional telephony and modern information technology – is also increasing the demands made of IT services. As a result, Swisscom needs to expand its capacity throughout Switzerland and irrespective of its existing locations. In accordance with its commitment to sustainability, Green IT and climate protection, Swisscom maximises the energy-efficient operation of its data centres. The average annual power usage effectiveness (PUE) of Swisscom’s data centre in Zollikofen (Berne) is 1.3. This value represents the ratio of total power consumed by the data centre to the power consumed by the IT systems. The power consumption in Zollikofen is around 33% lower than that of conventionally built data centres. With a PUE of 1.2, the data centre in Wankdorf (Berne) is even more energy-efficient. In order to maximise the energy efficiency of the IT equipment in the data centres, Swisscom also works with manufacturers to reduce the power consumption of the IT equipment. In this context Swisscom is currently participating in a research group looking into disruptive cooling technology. Swisscom is testing a procedure involving immersion cooling.

Cloud technology has reached an advanced stage of development and the areas in which it can be used to optimum effect are becoming ever clearer. Many applications are not yet able to use the benefits of cloud technology and first have to be adapted. Swisscom has gained valuable experience from its applications and its own production processes in the cloud. It uses its experience to continuously develop its IT infrastructure, further increase its technological lead as a trusted companion in the digital world and deploy its expertise in a way that benefits its business customers.

Fastweb’s IT infrastructure

Fastweb operates four main data centres in Italy with a total surface area of 8,000 square metres. The IT infrastructure consists of around 5,000 servers (virtual and physical servers in equal parts), 700 databases and 2.9 petabytes of storage capacity.

One of the data centres is managed by a technology partner who is responsible for the setup, design and adaptation of the data centre together with operational aspects of Fastweb’s IT infrastructure. Fastweb also uses two other data centres, mainly for corporate business services, i.e. for housing, hosting and other cloud-based services. Fastweb is investing in the construction of two new data centres in Milan and central Italy, which will be used by Fastweb to host ICT and cloud services for business customers. The new data centre in Milan is the first data centre in Italy to be awarded Tier IV certification – representing the highest level of reliability, security and performance. It is fully operational and hosts services for business customers.

Data protection

The customer data that Swisscom works with is subject to the Swiss Data Protection Act and Telecommunications Act. The protection of privacy, compliance with data protection laws and the observance of telecommunications secrecy are key tasks and concerns for Swisscom. The Data Protection Declaration explains how Swisscom handles personal data. Swisscom adheres strictly to the law in all matters relating to data protection. It collects, stores and processes only such data as is required for the following purposes: the provision of services, the handling and maintenance of the customer relationship, i.e. ensuring high service quality, the security of the company and its infrastructure, and billing. Customers also consent to Swisscom processing their data for marketing purposes and to their data being processed for the same purposes within the Swisscom Group. Customers have the option of stating what types of advertising material they do or do not wish to receive (“opt-out”). Swisscom has set itself the goal of providing all employees who have access to customer data as part of their job with thorough instruction on compliance within their work. In addition, it raises awareness among its employees through data protection training and equips them to implement the requirements of data protection rigorously.

Swisscom has also implemented technical measures designed to further improve data protection. It has reviewed and specified all access rights to critical customer data. It has also set up a system to determine whether access to critical customer data is legitimate. Moving forward, Swisscom will continue to do everything in its power to protect its customers’ data by optimising its technology, organisation, processes and employee training. Swisscom is aware of its responsibility for data protection. In bringing in new technologies and in meeting new needs, Swisscom will continue to exercise the required sensitivity and assume its social responsibility as a companion in the networked world.