Switzerland's Sunrise to offer LTE-A from June, removes data caps on premium plans

Swiss mobile operator Sunrise has revealed plans to offer LTE Advanced (LTE-A, or 4G+) coverage on its flexible Freedom contracts from the start of June, at no extra cost to existing subscribers.

The technology gives customers theoretical maximum surfing speeds of 300 Mbps.

Sunrise's biggest competitor, Swisscom, already offers LTE-A in busy areas, while Salt, the third-biggest player in the market, says it is also working on a 4G+ rollout.

Sunrise claimed that most of the customers on its Freedom contract, which lacks minimum contract terms, will be able to use its LTE-A services. It won't charge any extra for the upgrade.

As with Swisscom, the first areas to get LTE-A are densely populated -- the biggest cities already have coverage, which will be extended across Swiss urban areas by the end of this year. Swisscom was not able to give precise details of its existing LTE-A coverage, but said the services were available in around 100 Swiss cities.

Although it already has LTE-A capabilities in parts of its network, Sunrise has so far been capping speeds (for LTE customers, too) at 100 Mbps. This will change at the start of June.

According to Sunrise spokesman Roger Schaller, the telco is trying to differentiate itself from its main competitor by not charging different prices for different connection speeds.

At the same time, the telco is also removing the data caps for its three priciest deals, the Freedom Relax, Max and MTV Mobile Freedom World packages, from 10 GB to unlimited. The Freedom Relax package costs from CHF 65 ($66) per month, while the youth-oriented MTV Mobile World package starts at CHF 60 per month.

Sunrise said it now has 810,000 customers on its Freedom packages, which it launched two years ago.

Apart from its domestic mobile data push, Sunrise is also tweaking its roaming packages. Again from the start of June, the Europe and North America data roaming allowance for its Freedom Super Max package will double to 2 GB. The MTV Mobile Freedom allowances for the same region will go from 100 MB to 200 MB for the cheaper World subscription and from 200 MB to 1 GB for the Max subscription.

Sunrise's roaming data add-ons are also seeing various price reductions and/or boosts to usage limits.

For more:
- See the Sunrise release

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