Swiss telecommunications company, Sunrise, has announced plans to shut down its 3G network by mid-2025. Sunrise said its outdated 3G mobile technology, introduced around 20 years ago, is now inefficient compared to 4G and 5G in terms of both radio spectrum and energy requirements. Sunrise asserts that turning off 3G will free up more capacity for 4G and 5G, providing Sunrise customers with an even faster mobile network from mid-2025.
Boosting 4G and 5G Capacities
The teleco, claiming to offer the largest 5G network in Switzerland, intends to offer higher capacities for more simultaneous and faster connections, with 5G speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
Sunrise plans to repurpose the existing 3G bandwidths, i.e., 5 MHz in the 900 MHz frequency band, for 5G. This will enable customers to benefit from faster and more stable connections in lower frequency ranges, especially inside buildings. It is important to note that low-frequency bands (Sub GHz) are coverage carriers, providing coverage rather than capacity.
Data Usage Insights
Additionally, Sunrise highlighted that mobile data usage on the 3G network accounts for less than 1 percent. Concerning voice calls, the telco emphasised that 3G can no longer deliver the required stability and voice transmission quality, with an average call-drop rate 2.5 times higher than with 4G. After the shutdown of 3G, Sunrise customers are expected to transition to 4G-capable devices (including VoLTE for voice calls).
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Sunrise 5G Network
The Swiss telco, however, emphasised that its 4G network offers coverage of 97.4 percent, compared to 3G coverage at 89.7 percent of Switzerland's total area. Regarding 5G, Sunrise stated that it already provides high-speed 5G (up to 2 Gbps) to more than 1,200 towns and cities and over 98.7 percent of the population with basic 5G (up to 1 Gbps).