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Press release

The Course is Charted for Mobile Data Services

14 June 2000

The main use for Natel today is phone calls - the forces driving the future will be mobile data services. Aside from today"s applications like SMS and WAP, mobile data services will permit fast access to the Internet while users are on the move. Swisscom and Ericsson have teamed up in Switzerland to focus on mobile data applications. A Mobile Application Initiative (MAI) Local Centre has been launched in Bern. This type of local centre, which is public, will test and demonstrate possible applications for mobile data services of the future.

Swisscom Mobile - market leader for mobile data services in Switzerland - and Ericsson, global provider of new technologies, want to strengthen their leading positions when it comes to the development and launch of new technologies and applications for mobile data transmission. The two companies have taken the initiative by setting up a local centre as part of the global Mobile Application Initiative (MAI). The Swiss centre is one of nine centres currently operating in Europe - soon there should be many more across the world.

GPRS technology is the first step in the direction of innovative data transmission technologies for the future. GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a service that transmits data in a GSM network for mobile phones. This technology means that although the mobile phone is always on receive, the GSM network is only used when data is actually being transferred. This makes data transmission faster, simpler and most importantly - cheaper. GPRS will allow users to make mobile phone calls as well as transmitting Internet content - including images - fast, conveniently and cheaply. This capability turns the mobile phone into a multimedia centre.

The Swiss MAI from Swisscom and Ericsson operates a competence centre in Bern. It aims to provide IT companies with support in developing future solutions in the area of mobile data transmission. This test environment allows applications to be tested and optimized, with the objective of pushing forward the development of GPRS solutions and procedures. The centre is intended to afford all interested software developers, application and equipment producers, and consumers the opportunity of becoming MAI customers. This means testing applications, training human resources, making contacts and exchanging information. MAI customers benefit from a closer relationship with the latest technological developments and direct contacts with the most important application developers in Switzerland and worldwide.

You can get additional information on GPRS and the Mobile Applications Initiative by clicking on the following Websites:

Bern, 14 June 2000

Kontakt

Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern

media@swisscom.com