Swisscom info and facts
Berne, 5 October 2016
The Internet of Things has become an integral part of everyday life: from fitness wristbands to networked weather stations, IP cameras and sensors. The concept is nothing new – devices have been networked for years. But what is new is that this is happening over a standardised IP network, wirelessly, in an energy-efficient way and at a fraction of the former cost. Thanks to the cloud and its scalability, the logic required to use the data is readily available. Without this logic, data would be worthless. The Low Power Network – the first dedicated network for the Internet of Things – is now live across Switzerland. Swisscom is one of the first globally to bring a national network online.
The first pioneers have been working together with Swisscom to develop and test new applications. The Findme tracker of Mobiliar insurance company locates objects like keys, bicycles and luggage. Migros is testing a platform that allocates meeting rooms more effectively based on actual occupancy rather than bookings alone. The system uses additional sensors to ensure that lighting and ventilation are switched on only if somebody is actually in the room. VonRoll hydro is testing LPN sensors for carrying out tasks such as checking manhole covers or detecting leaks in shafts. Start-up company Tecsag from Central Switzerland is testing a tracker for livestock (www.alptracker.com) which makes it possible to find every individual animal, even on an outlying mountainside, and provides a more accurate picture of herd behaviour by means of monitoring. Entsorgung & Recycling Stadt Zürich is tracking the locations and transport routes of large containers. localsearch, a platform of Swisscom Directories AG, is testing over 250 smiley boxes with Feedback-now in Lausanne and Zurich to record customer satisfaction regarding restaurants and other services in real time. These are just a few examples of the pilot projects, of which there are more than 30.
The pilot projects show – as do other digitisation strategy projects – that there is no standard solution to suit everyone. In many cases, however, fast prototypes help to develop more ambitious ideas. Jaap Vossen, Head of Product Management Mobile Business Services and IoT, explained: “When discussing the Internet of Things, many customers wonder whether it is really an issue for them. A few months later, they are launching their first networked products. With LPN they are able to significantly reduce the phasing-in period.”
The initial rollout for 80% of the population as well as coverage in the major cities will be wrapped up by the end of the year. A flexible model that focuses on customers' needs is key to further network planning. Swisscom is open to partnerships. Partners can provide their own locations for network coverage or contribute their skills to the solution design. Swisscom will be opening an LPN Experience Centre in the Stauffacher shop in Zurich by the end of the year. This will make LPN, hardware and the possible applications more tangible and allow for discussion with Swisscom's LPN experts.
With its many years of experience as a network operator, Swisscom offers the right network for every application. The Low Power Network boasts sensors powered by batteries, wide service coverage and low hardware costs – ideal for the closely meshed networking of things. It is based on the open LoRaWAN industry standard and supplements the mobile network. Around 700 specialists in the areas of machine-to-machine, business intelligence, Smart Data, machine learning and business processes are supporting business customers along the entire IoT chain.