Marc Werner, Head of Residential Customers at Swisscom, discusses Wingo, the operator’s new brand for young, digitally savvy urban customers.
Eurocomms.com: What is the commercial thinking behind the launch of Wingo – a fixed line-only internet, IPTV and telephony service?
Marc Werner: The ICT market has changed considerably in recent years, with customer needs also diversifying at the same time.
The market now features young and technologically adept customers who have more selective needs, require fewer services and at the same time are price sensitive.
With Wingo, we are now able to provide them with economically priced offerings that meet all their needs.
Wingo does not come with the usual Swisscom service, but does include the trademark quality of the Swisscom network.
It operates under its own brand without a direct link to Swisscom, because the quality of services – particularly those offered as part of customer service – do not always correspond to what customers can expect from Swisscom.
Wingo is only on offer where you have deployed FTTH – how significant is this tech to the launch?
Wingo provides access to the internet exclusively via a fibre-optic connection, as bandwidths of 250 Mbps can only be achieved through this method of delivery.
This means that FTTH is a mandatory requirement for Wingo. But we are already reaching a large number of customers in this way: fibre-optic connections are currently available in households in 77 towns, cities and municipalities – even outside the major conurbations.
What is the reasoning behind leaving mobile out of the Wingo offering?
For tactical reasons, we are initially focusing on the fixed-network offering. There are no plans at the moment for a mobile offering, however, we will not rule this out for the future.
Do you plan to add any other services to Wingo in the future?
Maybe. You’ll have to wait and see.
You are targeting "young, digitally savvy urban customers". Is Wingo an admission that you have been unable to reach this demographic so far?
The Swisscom brand is unbelievably strong and represents the highest level of quality and comprehensive service.
This means that brands such as Wingo provide us with new opportunities – Wingo offers a portfolio that has been cut back to meet the core needs of digitally savvy, generally younger and urban customers and does not include the usual Swisscom customer service.
Wingo is part of the Swisscom family, but is cheekier and more provocative in its communications.
The service is going to cost €72/month. This sounds expensive – how does it compare with other services on the market?
Wingo does away with unnecessary extras and extended services, instead offering faster connections and affordable prices with no extra hidden costs. For just CHF 75, you can get high-speed Internet access at home. In comparison with other offerings available in this country, that is a very competitive price.
Customers also benefit from the customary high level of quality offered by the Swisscom network.
Customer care is only available online – how much are you able to save by offering this?
We will not name a figure. However, what we will say is that Wingo is efficient for us due to its reduced range of services, which translates into an attractively priced offering.
What targets do you have in terms of take-up?
We will not name a figure. One thing is certain – with the new brand, Swisscom aims to target customers that existing Swisscom offerings have been unable to reach effectively.
This is why, despite strong competition and the accompanying fall in prices in the telecommunications market, Swisscom expects that it will continue to maintain or even increase its market share, EBITDA and revenue in the future.
Overall, would you describe it as an offensive or defensive move in the market?
We see Wingo as an offensive move. There is no significant pressure being exerted by our competitors, we anticipated that there will be future developments in this area and wanted to approach the target group of price-sensitive customers in good time.