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According to the UMTS licences, licensees must provide at least 50% of the Swiss population with UMTS services on the basis of their own network infrastructure by the end of 2004. The Federal Office of Communications expects the operators to provide a UMTS voice telephony service as the minimum level of service.
Examination of the construction of the UMTS networks in Switzerland by OFCOM has shown that the mobile telephone operators Orange, sunrise and Swisscom Mobile had complied with the coverage obligation of their licence by 31 December 2004. They are in the position to be able to provide at least 50% of the Swiss population with UMTS services according to the minimum requirements.
The fourth licensee 3G Mobile (Telefonica), however, has not fulfilled the obligation. It has been necessary to open a surveillance procedure against the company due to infringement of the licence conditions. OFCOM is handling the procedure and is expected to request appropriate measures from ComCom following a decision in the course of early 2005. The Law on Telecommunications prescribes measures ranging from a request to overcome the deficit through additional conditions to restricting or even revoking the licence.
In order to determine the coverage levels achieved, OFCOM checked the data from the operators, performed its own calculations based on the infrastructure data and verified the results in certain areas using mobile measuring equipment.
In December 2000 ComCom awarded 4 UMTS licences by auction to the companies Orange, sunrise, Swisscom Mobile and 3G Mobile (Telefonica).