Berne, 07 March 2012
A combination of extreme climbs, treacherous descents, alpine weather conditions and mountainous terrain test participants of the annual Patrouille des Glaciers race to the full. This year, ardent skiing fans will be able to enjoy the competition whenever they like: the new Patrouille des Glaciers app from Swisscom will provide real-time information about the course and current standings as well as important facts about your favourite team. And thanks to a virtual cow bell, the app can also be used to loudly cheer participants on as they race past.
The precise location and other data about each team are relayed using a small mobile phone that participants carry with them. This mobile phone was specially developed to withstand extreme weather conditions and can also be used to make emergency calls. A simple tap on the emergency button connects a participant to the emergency services and automatically sends out a text message containing his or her exact GPS coordinates. As a result, teams are even safer and their safety is even easier to manage during the race.
Swisscom is working closely with the Patrouille des Glaciers command and the Armed Forces Command Support Organisation to provide seamless mobile communication along the race route. After all, setting up a temporary network in the Valais Alps is not routine work even for Switzerland's leading telecommunications provider. It's a major challenge. The high-alpine terrain makes transporting the equipment more difficult, while the low temperatures decrease functionality. A Swisscom team has been planning the mobile phone network along the race route for the past year. About 20 military personnel are helping set up the equipment on site. During the race, 30 Swisscom specialists will be monitoring the mobile network so that teams can be helped quickly if they get into trouble at any time.