16 February 2005
The GSMA Award 2005 for the best mobile business application goes to Swisscom Mobile for its Mobile Unlimited product. On 15 February the GSM Association, the world's most important association in the mobile communications sector, presented the award during its GSM World Congress in Cannes.
Mobile Unlimited from Swisscom Mobile has been available exclusively in Switzerland since last September and provides users on the move with high-speed, interruption-free access to the Internet and company data at all times. What's more, the software, which was developed by Swisscom Mobile in collaboration with Whitestein Technologies, always selects the fastest available technology - GPRS, UMTS or WLAN. And thanks to seamless handover technology the connection remains intact when switching from one transmission technology to another. Users only have to dial up once. Mobile Unlimited makes data communication on the go as simple and fast as from a fixed workstation with broadband access.
"The GSMA award clearly indicates that we are on the right track with our strategy: We operate different networks simultaneously and combine them into a convenient whole for our customers," explained Carsten Schloter, Swisscom Mobile CEO. Over 10,000 cards will have been sold in Switzerland by spring 2005.
Over the course of this year Mobile Unlimited will feature a number of new functions. In spring 2005 Swisscom Mobile will begin operating its EDGE network. EDGE complements UMTS, which today provides coverage to around 90% of the population. Outside large residential areas, where until now data have been transmitted via GPRS, data transmission will be up to five times faster. This means that UMTS will be joined by a second high-speed, full-coverage data network. There will also be 800 WLAN hotspots, for example at train stations, airports, hotels, sports stadiums and conference centres.
The introduction of a new 4-in-1 data card will make Mobile Unlimited EDGE-compliant in the second half of 2005, by which time Mobile Unlimited will also be able to connect to private wireless networks in offices and homes. Switching between private networks and Swisscom Mobile's public networks will also be seamless. Users will only have to pay for transmitting data in areas where they have no access to a private network, and will only need to dial in once.
The seamless handover technology of Mobile Unlimited is now being offered under licence to other mobile operators abroad under the name of Unlimited Connection. Unlimited Connection is marketed by the Belgian company Option. "We are delighted that Mobile Unlimited has won the GSMA Award," said Jan Callewaert, CEO of Option, "and we are also happy to continue our successful collaboration with Swisscom Mobile." Option will offer Unlimited Connection as a complete end-to-end solution to other mobile communications operators.
Unlimited Connection will provide mobile operators with a sophisticated technology that has already proven its worth in a demanding market. Unlimited Connection will enable them to offer a standard, high-speed data network across their entire coverage area for a small implementation cost. Because Unlimited Connection will in future be able to integrate private wireless networks, the product is of special interest to operators that do not have their own WLAN strategy. Users will be able to access their own network at home or in the office and automatically switch over to the mobile network of their mobile operator as soon as they leave their private coverage area.
Cannes, 16 February 2005