From 2 December 2002 Swisscom Mobile will provide Public Wireless LAN at some 100 Hotspots (busy public locations) across Switzerland. Initially, two attractive pricing models will be offered for wireless Internet/intranet access. To promote the new service, Public Wireless LAN is to be offered completely free of charge throughout the month of December 2002.
The 100 or so Hotspots include the main railway stations of Berne and Geneva, the Lucerne Cultural and Congress Centre, all seminar hotels in Davos and the sports centre in Davos. Other locations include a large number of Mövenpick hotels throughout Switzerland and the Palazzetto Fevi in Locarno. New Hotspots are being added all the time; the latest list, updated weekly, can be viewed on the Internet. "As the only Swiss provider, Swisscom Mobile offers a comprehensive product and network portfolio. This latest offering demonstrates once again the company's innovative strength," explains Urs Schaeppi, Head of Connectivity Services at Swisscom Mobile. The existing Hotspots were set up in record time and the plan is to increase the number of locations to 250 by the end of 2003. In terms of density, the new PWLAN network already occupies the number one spot in Europe.
Value Card or NATEL® subscription
Standard "Hotspot" stickers will be displayed at every Hotspot location to show travellers the infrastructure that is available. To use Public Wireless LAN, all that is required is a WLAN-compatible laptop or a Pocket PC. As soon as the Internet browser is opened, the Swisscom Mobile homepage is automatically displayed and the user can then inform himself free of charge which Hotspots are available, how they can be used and what they have to offer. If a user wishes to access the public Internet or his corporate intranet (if set up), he can logon on this page.
NATEL® subscribers need only register once via the Hotspot startpage or the hotline; afterwards they can conveniently log on using their mobile phone number and have a current password sent to them via SMS. Customers of other Swiss network operators and visitors from abroad can use the (prepaid) Value Card. As part of the market launch, Public Wireless LAN usage is to be offered free throughout the month of December 2002. Subsequent applicable prices for NATEL® subscribers, who will be offered more attractive terms than prepaid customers, will be communicated in good time. From 1 January 2003, Value Card will be available with time credits of two hours or 24 hours for CHF 19 and CHF 48 respectively. Value Card can be purchased at many points-of-sale across Switzerland as well as at all Hotspots; as soon as the user inserts the card, it remains valid for the duration of the purchased period.
High level of customer benefit - guaranteed service
"The benefits of Public Wireless LAN are high data rates, ease of operation and the use of advanced technical standards," explains Urs Schaeppi. Users can surf the Internet at high speed, synchronise e-mails and transmit large data files while on the move ' ideal for business customers. At Swisscom Mobile the subject of security is assuming ever-increasing importance. The Hotspots are protected from the Internet as well as is technically possible; for the transmission of sensitive data Swisscom Mobile recommends that customers also use encryption, e.g. SSL or VPN client, as is customary with conventional Internet connections.