Mobile telephony enters a new era with the introduction of Location Based Services. The new Swisscom services give NATEL® customers access to individual information at their current location - throughout Switzerland and on the entire NATEL® network. Swisscom is one of the first network operators worldwide to offer its customers pilot services for Location Based Services right now - on WAP and via SMS.
The need to be reachable everywhere, to have the capability for spontaneous communication and to have access to information irrespective of location continues to increase. This trend makes the mobile phone an indispensable partner for everyone who puts a high premium on independence and mobility. The introduction of Location Based Services (LBS) takes mobile telephony into a new dimension. The Location Based Services offered by Swisscom from today provide mobile customers with individual information at their immediate location, for example an event calendar and cinema listing (e.g.: Where is the nearest cinema? How do I get there?). Or information on the local weather report for the region. This has the advantage that customers don´t need to first enter a location in their mobile phone, but are automatically provided with the relevant local information. This is synonymous with individual and more precise information for the mobile phone and a reduction of search activities in the WAP.
Meeting Data Protection Requirements
Swisscom is one of the first network operators worldwide to launch three pilot services for Location Based Services. This gives customers a passport to a completely new dimension. Data protection requirements are met in full, given that the basic concept of LBS and the specific services were discussed in detail and agreed with representatives of the Swiss Data Protection Officer. The location information in the NATEL® network is made completely anonymous so that content providers only know that a NATEL® customer has used their service. They do not know the identity of the customer.
Cinema, Events and the Weather
The services available from today comprise three different pilot services offered on two different transmission pathways. Local information can be accessed via SMS and WAP. The first LBS services are the Cineman (cinema guide), the Culture Gate (event calendar) and SF DRS Weather from Thomas Bucheli. Other services will soon be available with even higher location accuracy.
All SMS queries in the pilot phase are initially free of charge. The usual call charges are levied for WAP. Location Based Services will later be charged in a similar manner to today´s NATEL® InfoService or other Value Added Services.