18 October 2002
The Expo.02 is almost history. As exhibition and infrastructure partner as well as "official partner", Swisscom has made a major contribution. The end result is pleasing. Swisscom's "Empire of Silence" at the Biel arteplage recorded around one million visitors.
The «Empire of Silence» pavilion is a technical masterpiece. Within the 1,000 m2 large building a total of 250 tonnes of stage material, a 4.2 tonne heavy screen, 12 km of cable and 250 spotlights ensure a unique experience. Up to 121 shows each day attracted up to 8,400 visitors from all age groups on a daily basis. By the close of the national exhibition around one million people will have visited the pavilion. The communications rebels will have abseiled from the ceiling over 57,500 times. In the final room the 370 glowing masks will have been touched and extinguished an estimated 20 million times per day. Swisscom is also satisfied with the reaction to the «Empire of Silence». Surveys and the numerous other responses received by telephone, e-mail or at www.empire-of-silence.ch/guestbook paint a positive picture. Although there was naturally also critical feedback, the large majority of visitors found it to be good to excellent. The highlights were the futuristic scenery, the film with the small girl, the game with the glowing masks, the silence generator, the wall with the 100 eyes and the postcard that was issued after the visit. In the guest room above the pavilion around 125 events took place with ten to forty guests.
600 voluntary employees from all the Swisscom Group companies and all areas of Switzerland were involved in running the pavilion. The Swisscom employees found their stint to be an unforgettable experience: «There's probably nothing better for the corporate culture than such commitment,» says Urs Eng, overall project manager of Swisscom's Expo. 02 activities.
As infrastructure partner, Swisscom was responsible for the construction, operation and monitoring of the entire telecommunications infrastructure on all five arteplages. «We are very satisfied with the operation of the infrastructure. Although we were depending on estimates for dimensioning of the networks, there were never any bottlenecks or other problems worthy of mention», concludes Markus Richle, responsible for the telecommunications infrastructure.
The operation of public payphones and Web payphones as well as the various services for Expo.02, special WAP and SMS info services from Swisscom Mobile and a voice-controlled information service from Swisscom Fixnet, also ran without any problems. Around 20,000 free SMS messages per month were sent from the Web payphones on the arteplages. The number of short films that were sent to e-mail addresses from the special terminals is also known: This service was used around 180,000 times, which according to project manager Stefan Brawand from Swisscom Mobile exceeded expectations.
When the national exhibition ends, Swisscom will embark on the dismantling of the pavilion and infrastructure. If all goes to plan, the "Empire of Silence" pavilion should be dismantled within a few weeks. The Expo.02 sites must be returned to their original condition by Spring 2003.
You can find further information and pictures on Swisscom's contribution to Expo.02 at www.empire-of-silence.ch/media .
Bern, 18 October 2002