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Press release

Swisscom hives off satellite ground stations to internationally active Verestar

04 October 2000

As announced in spring 2000 Swisscom is withdrawing from satellite communications. After negotiations with various potential buyers, Swisscom has decided to sell its satellite ground station in Leuk, and the related infrastructure in Zurich, Basle and Geneva to the internationally active company Verestar, previously ATC Teleports. Swisscom"s facilities give Verestar the opportunity to extend its comprehensive network of satellite ground stations by establishing a foothold in Europe and will allow it to cover the area around the Indian Ocean. Verestar will offer jobs to the 25 current employees and honour the customer contracts.

Swisscom announced its withdrawal from satellite communications on 28 March 2000. This move will allow the company to focus on its core business in Switzerland, Europe and North America.

25 jobs secured in Switzerland

Intensive analysis and negotiations with various potential buyers have underlined that a sale to Verestar is the best solution. Verestar will honour existing customer contracts which will be transferred by the end of 2000 and continue to employ the 25 employees. 41 employees originally worked at the satellite ground station in Leuk, and at the other locations in Zurich, Basle and Geneva. 16 of these have found alternative employment or have entered retirement. Verestar will take on the 25 employees under the same conditions and will meet the provisions of the collective labour agreement which enters into force in 2001.

The futureoriented solution was agreed on the basis of intensive cooperation between Swisscom and the local and cantonal authorities in Valais.

First foothold in Europe for Verestar, previously ATC Teleports

Verestar is a subsidiary of Tower Corporation which is quoted on the New York stock exchange (NYSE: AMT). This company has specialised in global, business-critical telecommunications. Verestar provides Internet, voice and data communications services for cruise ships and for the US government. The company, which already has over 10 satellite ground stations with over160 antenna, is the market leader in North America but did not have a presence in Europe. According to Alan Box, vice-chairman of Verestar´s board and senior executive, Swisscom´s facilities are the ideal complement to the American company´s activities: "The ground stations in Switzerland are our first foothold in Europe. They will create connections to all satellites in the area of the Indian Ocean and up-grade our current infrastructure. The long-term outlook for employees, customers and the community is good".

For further information: Swisscom AG, Media Relations
Tel. 0041 31 342 91 93
Fax 0041 31 342 06 70

Verestar, Gail Yamazaki
Tel. 001 703 206 90 00
Fax 001 703 573 32 93
Email Gail

Bern, 4 October 2000


Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern