Fixed Wireless Access

«Fibre optics through the air»

Enjoying the great outdoors, yet at the virtual heart of world events. Guests at the Jolimont holiday chalet in the Valais village of Champéry now have an excellent Internet connection. Swisscom was able to install a fixed Internet connection via 5G for the site with fixed wireless access technology. This "glass fibre through the air" can help to reduce rural exodus and make outlying regions more attractive.
Res Witschi
Res Witschi, Delegate for Sustainable Digitalization
20 July 2020

Chalet Jolimont provides holiday accommodation on the edge of the Valais resort of Champéry. The facility is particularly popular with younger guests but its remote location means the chalet does not have a fibre-optic connection. Swisscom recently equipped Champéry with the latest 5G mobile generation. As a result, the youth hostel was also able to install an Internet connection via 5G, using fixed wireless access. To enable this, a permanent 5G receiver was installed at the chalet.

With the new 5G-based fixed wireless access technology, Swisscom can also provide ultra-fast Internet to remote locations. The Jolimont holiday accommodation here in Valais is an example. Total length of video 02:59 min.

Instead of cable or fibre, individual buildings are connected to the fast Internet via FWA. Swisscom is currently running a pilot with selected SMEs where customers can use 5G FWA. For this youth hostel, it means that the operators can work efficiently on the LAN and offer guests high-performance Internet access. And this seems almost more important to many young people than the beautiful view and the healthy mountain air. The fact is young people consume and generate about six times more mobile data than their parents.

Interview with project manager Reto Baschera

What is the benefit of 5G FWA?

5G FWA offers great potential for customers where there is no fibre-optic connection. There will always be buildings that do not benefit from the standard network expansion due to their remote location, or temporary business sites that do not have a fixed network connection. We use FWA to extend the fixed network infrastructure and thus increase the availability of ultra-fast broadband. With FWA, our business customers can integrate one or more locations into their site networking via the mobile network and use their services.  

How does FWA work?

5G FWA requires 5G mobile coverage. It also needs a small receiver, a "toolkit for business", which is mounted on the outside of the building. The toolkit connects with the mobile communication mast to provide wireless access to the Swisscom network.

When will 5G FWA be available commercially?

Swisscom is currently running a pilot for business customers with 5G FWA and is testing its applications with customers like the Jolimont youth hostel. We analyse the results on an ongoing basis, and the findings feed into the development of the final product. We expect to be able to offer 5G FWA to our business customers during the summer of 2020.

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Contributing to sustainability

5G fixed wireless access makes a direct contribution to the following United Nation goals for sustainable development:

The expansion of the mobile communications infrastructure with the latest technology promotes broad-based and sustainable industrialisation and supports innovation.

With fast Internet over 5G, fixed wireless access helps to make even remote communities inclusive, secure, resilient and sustainable.