Swiss full service provider Swisscom has partnered with Swedish vendor Ericsson to launch the ‘5G for Switzerland’ programme in collaboration with local university the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). The programme will run to the end of 2019 and aims to develop and test applications with partners from various sectors to support the definition of international standards for 5G. A joint statement from the trio noted that they will work with industry partners to understand how 5G can innovate their businesses and will develop industrial applications to implement and trial. Under the programme, Swisscom, Ericsson and the EPFL will address challenges such as smart transportation, autonomous driving, automated traffic control systems, smart grid and Internet of Things (IoT).
Commenting on the project, Swisscom CTO and CIO Heinz Herren said: ‘5G is still in the early stages of development. For Swisscom it is essential to be in on the planning from the start, preparing for future applications.’ The operator, Switzerland’s largest cellco by subscribers, is planning to launch 5G services in 2020 and will deactivate its 2G networks from the end of that year. Dr Michael Themans, the deputy VP for innovation and technology transfer at the EPFL was quoted as saying: ‘Swisscom’s upcoming 5G technology will accelerate the development of innovative solutions in numerous promising fields such as smart grids, intelligent mobility and digital health.’