Berne, 28 July 2005
On 2 August, Swisscom Fixnet will be launching an SMS service for the analogue fixed network. An SMS-enabled phone or SMS box will be required for sending and reading text messages, and if users do not have such devices, the SMS will be read out as a voice message.
For some time now, it has been possible to send SMS messages over the digital fixed network, a service that is restricted exclusively to customers with an ISDN line and an SMS-enabled ISDN phone. From 2 August it will also be possible to send SMS messages on the fixed network via an analogue line. An SMS-enabled phone or SMS box will be required to send and read text messages. SMS sent or received over the fixed network may not exceed 160 characters. The fixed network SMS service only supports messages sent to geographical numbers (not to short numbers). SMS can be sent over the fixed network from all mobile phones with a Swisscom Mobile connection.
If an SMS is sent to a phone that does not support SMS and the recipient also does not have an SMS box, the SMS will be converted into a voice message and indicated as a call. A recorded voice will read out the message after the recipient lifts the handset. If the recipient is unavailable, the voice message will be spoken into the user's Combox or answering machine. If the recipient is busy or unavailable, further attempts to deliver the message will be made within a maximum of 24 hours. The service supports the following languages: English, French, German and Italian. It can also be blocked if necessary.
Swisscom Fixnet customers with SMS-compatible phones can send SMS messages to all Swiss mobile phone networks. During a promotional period lasting until 30 September 2005, text messages may be sent free of charge from the fixed network. It is not possible to receive SMS from a mobile or fixed network abroad, or from the mobile networks of sunrise or Orange. Sending an SMS costs CHF 0.20 and listening to an SMS is free of charge. Customers with CPS (carrier preselection) with another telecoms provider must additionally pay the connection charge of their provider.
The SMS box is a cordless device for analogue telephone lines (EconomyLine), which makes it easy to send and receive SMS messages on the fixed network: just type the SMS on the keypad, connect the device to the docking station and send off the message. The SMS box can be used independently of an SMS-enabled phone. SMS boxes will be sold via the usual channels: Swisscom Shops, the Swisscom Online Shop, specialist dealers and wholesalers. At the time of launch, 50,000 free SMS boxes will be available while stocks last. A free SMS box will be given to customers who simultaneously extend their contracts with Swisscom Fixnet for another 12 months. Thereafter the SMS box will be sold for CHF 48 without contract extension.