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Driverless cars and global networking

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Driverless car: the ten lessons learned

In May 2015, Swisscom, together with the Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) and the German Autonomos Labs, put the first driverless car on Swiss roads. However, in the future, Swisscom will not build cars but thus gather experience for the mobility of the future.

A final report summarises what Swisscom experienced and learned in this process. The report talks about grasses, for example, which became seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. Or what you had to do so that sensors recognise LED-based traffic lights better. Or which map technology was most suitable for use on Swiss roads and what turned out to be the greatest challenge of Zurich’s city traffic. And, last but not least, how society could benefit from driverless cars.

Download the entire report here

“For Swisscom, the self-driving car is a key element for understanding future requirements and working together with authorities and partners to establish new services and standards.”

Low power network

LPN – low power, big impact

We live in a networked world: machines, vehicles, lifts and oil tanks now communicate automatically and ensure greater efficiency and security. In the future, everyday items such as bicycles, letterboxes, water and newspaper dispensers, rubbish bins and even shoes will also be networked. M2M applications can be connected using the low power network (LPN).

The LPN is based on the sending of small data packages that are transmitted only sporadically. This makes it possible to send data across a large operating distance with minimal energy consumption. This allows entirely new functions to be implemented using mobile devices and objects that require the longest possible battery lives.

Successful pilot projects

The Swisscom LPN is based on the LoRa technology standard. With the alliance of the same name, Swisscom is dedicated to standardising and developing the IoT. Since August 2015, the telecommunications company has been providing the LPN in Zurich and Geneva in a pilot phase. Since then, test customers have been testing the boundaries of the promising technology and developing new business models. For example, in the summer, the Love Mobiles at the Zurich Street Parade were equipped with LPN sensors. Thanks to the stable network, the police were able to locate the vehicles at all times despite the mobile communications network being at full capacity, and monitor them from a central command room.

New ideas thanks to the IoT hackathon

In November, young developers were able to put their IoT expertise to the test in a forty-hour hackathon in Zurich . Many of the hackathon teams used the LPN. With great enthusiasm, the participants developed ideas including an emergency solution for senior citizens, an umbrella as a service and a seat finder for SBB trains.

The potential of LPN is far from exhausted. Thanks to LPN and the Swisscom M2M/IoT Center of Competence , innovative companies can now work more efficiently and, above all, access new and attractive sources of income.

More on the low power network Swisscom M2M/IoT Center of CompetenceMore on the IoT hackathon 

Cloud storage

Michael Müller and the data problem

That phone call yet again. Once a week, Michael Müller finds himself busy restoring data that his colleagues have lost on foreign cloud platforms. Michael Müller has been IT manager at a major Swiss plumbing company for five years. The 41-year-old loves his job, but he has lost control of the company data, and that gets to him.

Michael voices his frustration to a friend, who is also an IT manager. He tells Michael about Storebox, the cloud storage solution from Swisscom. He, too, has high stability and security requirements for data. With this solution, Michael Müller’s colleagues could use the business data together with customers and external partners across company borders. And the data would be saved only in Swiss data centres. In addition, his colleagues could access it at any time, whether in the office or on the move, and even using their smartphones. With Storebox, Michael Müller would once again have complete control of the company data and his colleagues could work as they wished.

More information


Connected worldwide, one partner

Multinational companies frequently procure their ICT solutions locally. The consequence: disconnected systems and complicated supplier relationships. But there is another way. Sandro Principe, Head of Global Sales at Swisscom, explains how.

Sandro Principe, what do people at the large national company Swisscom know about the challenges faced by multinational companies?

Naturally, the greatest challenges depend on the core business. However, all multinationals have one fundamental challenge in common: how to make collaboration with and between the subsidiaries – whether in production or sales – as efficient as possible? Functioning, end-to-end, stable ICT solutions play a central role here.

Global ICT solution without a local presence abroad – how does that work?

We ensure the global network through our long-term partners Verizon and Vodafone. With these two partners, we are already providing global ICT services at 2,600 sites for a total of 300 customers. In addition, through these partnerships we provide our customers with access to additional network technologies and services.

Which services does Swisscom also provide abroad?

On the basis of secure and reliable connectivity, we provide numerous IT services, such as data centre management, cloud services, Unified Collaboration tools, IT workstations, security services, the operation of business applications, M2M services and management of mobile devices.

More information, contact us:

Sandro Principe
+41 79 401 85 05

Daniela Cupic
+41 79 539 34 03

Céline Lögler
+41 79 419 27 56

Silicon Valley vs Switzerland

Start-ups: Is a 300-kilometre expansion in two years enough?

In the summer, I was a member of the jury for a business plan competition. During the preparations, I came across a business plan that demonstrates really well how differently the topic of “growth” is approached in Switzerland and Silicon Valley.

The start-up, a marketplace for services, was planning expansion from Lucerne to Berne and Zurich in the first six months of the year, a further seven months were estimated for western Switzerland and Ticino, before approaching Germany in mid-2017, and then the UK and the US at any undefined time in the future. Two years for a 300-kilometre expansion? This is definitely not enough time when you operate in a market where there can be only one winner.

Success vs failure

A meeting a few weeks prior to this stood in stark contrast: this year, I headed the Swisscom start-up competition StartUp Challenge, in which five start-ups had the chance of winning a week-long business trip to Silicon Valley. This involved us pitching to one of the largest traditional Silicon Valley start-up investors. We got to experience the ambition that is accepted, and also expected, in a business plan: one of the managing directors made it clear that a start-up is a failure if it gets stuck at sales of 20–30 million USD per year. In Switzerland, however, most start-up investors would be happy to have these kinds of companies in their portfolios! ​

Penny Schiffer works as a consultant and mentor for start-ups and is a member of several juries. She is always on the lookout for innovations for Swisscom and therefore regularly works as a trend scout in Silicon Valley.

More about the Swisscom StartUp Challenge