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Press release

Swisscom launches LTE pilot project in seven tourist regions

Davos is the first of seven tourist regions in Switzerland to be equipped with state-of-the-art Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology. A further six regions will follow by the beginning of December. Through these installations, Swisscom intends to gather experience of how LTE can be put to best use. LTE supplements Swisscom's existing, well developed mobile network and offers far higher bandwidths than conventional technologies.
Berne, 07 November 2011

Around 60% of mobile phones sold are smartphones. Tablet PCs are becoming more widespread and users increasingly expect notebooks to be constantly online, even when they are on the move. This is fuelling rapid growth in data volumes on the mobile network: currently, it is doubling every twelve months. In order to guarantee its customary high network quality, Swisscom optimises its mobile transmission sites for mobile Internet on an ongoing basis. Looking to the future, however, one thing is clear: existing mobile communications technologies will not be powerful enough to satisfy future customer needs. This is why Swisscom is being proactive about expanding today its network for tomorrow.

Further expansion planned for next year

The LTE pilot project will be carried out at various tourist regions throughout Switzerland from the beginning of September until mid-2012, as plans stand currently. Swisscom will be covering the following regions: Davos, Grindelwald, Gstaad, Leukerbad, Montana, Saas Fee and St. Moritz/Celerina. In these regions, customers will be able to test the ultra-high speeds of fourth-generation mobile communications technology using a USB stick for their notebooks. From January 2012, it will also be possible to experience the advantages of the new technology at selected Swisscom Shops. Swisscom is currently working on putting together corresponding customer offerings for the pilot project. It intends to use the pilot project to gather experience of how LTE can be best deployed in Switzerland.

Swisscom will begin with the further expansion of LTE in 2012, focussing initially on extremely busy locations. Exactly how it proceeds will depend on the issuing of new licences for mobile frequencies in spring 2012. In parallel, Swisscom will be expanding the current mobile network to 42 Mbps to allow all customers - whether in rural or urban areas - to benefit from good bandwidth and an optimum technology mix.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) is also referred to as the fourth generation of mobile technology. In theory, transmission speeds of up to 150 Mbps are possible in the initial phase. LTE is intended for data transmission; voice transmission will be possible at a later stage as Voice over IP. The operation of mobile communications installations using LTE is governed by the Ordinance on non-ionising radiation and the same strict limits apply for mobile antennas as with GSM and UMTS.

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