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Press release

Swisscom demonstrates its expertise in the Patrouille des Glaciers race

Berne, 13 April 2010

Swisscom is involved in the Patrouille des Glaciers for the third time and will ensure seamless mobile coverage along the entire route during the alpine competition. In addition, nearly 1,500 event participants and organisers will receive a mobile phone from Swisscom. The Patrouille des Glaciers, a ski mountaineering race, will take place from 21 to 25 April 2010 between Zermatt and Verbier.

Swisscom began planning the temporary mobile network a year ago. Six locations for the network elements were designed on a computer and then defined using on-site measurements. Since setting up a temporary network in the Valais Alps is not simply routine work but represents a major challenge, Swisscom received support from the army in this task. The high-alpine terrain makes transporting the equipment more difficult, while the low temperatures mean it functions less efficiently.


Cooperation between Swisscom and the Swiss Army

Swisscom is working closely with the Patrouille des Glaciers command and the Armed Forces Command Support Organisation to tackle this challenging task. The power supply, transport and directional beam links, for example, are provided by the army. A core team of eight Swisscom employees carried out the planning and were supported by around 20 members of the military during the setup phase. During the competition, 35 people from the army's telecoms division will be deployed to monitor the mobile network for Swisscom.


Increased safety thanks to monitoring posts and prioritisation

The infrastructure at the command post in Sion allows the organisers to monitor the mobile network 24 hours a day. Capacity overloads or faults can be quickly located and suitable measures implemented immediately by the temporary intervention group in Arolla. To further increase safety, calls from the 'Patrouille' mobile phones are prioritised in the network. The Swisscom mobile network replaced the earlier SE-125 military network in 2006.


Temporary network in the mountains

Three temporary GSM base stations were installed for the Patrouille des Glaciers this year, at the Dent Blanche mountain hut (3507m), at "La Barma" (2458m) and at the Mont Fort cable car (3328m). All three base stations were connected to the Swisscom network via a military radio link. Three repeaters were also installed for the race on the "Tête Blanche" glacier (3710m), at the Bertol mountain hut (3311m) and on the "Rosablanche" glacier (3277m) to retransmit the signals received.



Swisscom AG
Media Relations
3050 Bern