SWICO

SWICO launches campaign for harmonising wireless LAN services

    Zurich (ots) - On the fringe of the 2003 ITU World Telecom exhibition the Swiss ICT/CE association SWICO launched a campaign in Geneva on 15th October with the aim of accelerating the harmonisation of WLAN services in Switzerland, and through EU associations in the rest of Europe as well. All activities are to be taken up or encouraged that could lead to the rapid, sustainable, and open growth of the WLAN market in Switzerland and the rest of Europe. More than thirty well known service-providers from the segments of  WLAN, ISP, WISP, fixed networks, and mobile telephony took part in the kick-off workshop in Geneva as well as other companies, associations, and authorities.

    As Paolo Fanuli, the General Manager of SWICO, explained, his organisation intends to make a contribution to enabling the market for public hotspots and WLAN services in Switzerland and the rest of Europe to develop in a way that brings the greatest advantage to customers and suppliers alike. SWICO also aims to ensure that an open situation of competition is created in wireless ISP (WISP) so that the rules of the free market can have full play. This young but rapidly growing market opens up many market opportunities to suppliers of broadband Internet access and content services. WLAN has the potential for contributing crucially to economic growth in the next ten years. To give the customers the easiest possible access to WLAN services, however, according to SWICO it is necessary to offer a defined minimum quality standard with minimal, jointly defined, access and accounting standards. Part of this is that the customers should be given clear information at all times on the service levels that are available to them and at what prices. Although it is very easy to set up a hotspot, the devil is once again in the detail. All according to the use and content of the information, the customer will require a higher or lower level of security in access to services and in the encryption of information. For SWICO it would be desirable for major services to be able to use every hotspot regardless of which operator or WISP was actually operating it. The association also believes that it is only a simple pricing structure and the possibility of roaming between different service-providers that can contribute to the services being used without any technical or administrative hurdles. As WLAN services are not regulated by the authorities, the danger exists that it will grow wildly and uncontrollably. Regulation, on the other hand, would unnecessarily delay the development of valuable services. With this campaign, therefore, SWICO is aiming to make a contribution to enabling the industry to define its own quality standard voluntarily that will bring benefits to all participants in the market, adopting the existing and sensible international standards in the process. As a leading Swiss industrial association for ICT/CE providers, SWICO is in a position to mobilise all the main companies under an independent "umbrella".

At the kick-off workshop in Geneva, after a day of intensive and also controversial discussions agreement was quickly reached that this campaign meets a genuine need on the part of the customers and the suppliers. All the same, the participants stated clearly that consensus will still have to be reached on the exact targets. The targets that the association had set in this context merely represented a suggestion on the basis of which a broad consensus can be reached. To enable as many of the suppliers as possible to participate who are interested in and affected by this issue, SWICO is expressly calling on all other interested parties to take an active part in defining the targets and implementing them as part of this campaign.

ots Originaltext: SWICO
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
Rolf Meier, SWICO
Tel. direkt +41/1/445'38'05



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