A world first: The world's first standardized 5G network at a ski resort
Holding on firmly to its title of 5G pioneer, Sunrise is continuing to forge ahead with its '5G for People' initiative:
LAAX is a pioneer in the tourism and leisure industry as well as a trend-setter in digitalization
"The first mountain Internet café opened its doors at the valley station of the LAAX ski resort a little less than four years after the World Wide Web was born," says Reto Gurtner, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Weisse Arena Group. "We've been providing virtually seamless Wi-Fi network coverage throughout the entire skiing area since 2013 and have continued to set new digital milestones with our interactive, award-winning app, INSIDE LAAX. Now, thanks to Sunrise, we're well equipped for the future – and especially for when the first tourists start hitting the slopes with their 5G-compatible smartphones sometime around 2020."
Ordering day passes and storing them on your smartphone, being able to see which lifts have the shortest waiting times, navigating the runs, finding friends – all of this and more is already possible at many ski resorts today. In addition, several new trends made possible by 5G and ongoing digitalization are now set to take off.
Many of these are centered on customers using their smartphones
An increasing number of people planning skiing trips are now interested in taking virtual tours of their resort in advance. 360-degree live broadcasts of top events, including drone images, put prospective visitors in the mood for a skiing vacation. It may also soon be possible to take part in virtual ski courses, meaning guests will already have a good idea of how to maneuver on the slopes before they arrive.
Holograms of famous sports professionals will be used to teach the best tricks to more advanced skiers, while those who retire to a sunny terrace restaurant will enjoy outstanding service from humanoid robots as they read chatbot tips on their smartphone about the best places to go in the evening. Thanks to blockchain technology, they will also be able to book the best deals they find direct, and then pay for them in a seamless process.
In addition, the Internet of Things will make it possible for skiers to use their smartphones to quickly find lost items such as skis, poles, goggles, caps, etc.
It goes without saying that a vacation like this will also include fantastic videos that can be posted immediately to social media sites.
These and other trends are the key digital transformation topics in the tourism industry. It's also clear that mobility and 5G – as the next generation of mobile communications – will play a major role. This makes it all the more important for leading Swiss tourist destinations to have 5G networks at an early stage, so they don't lag behind their global competitors.
That's another reason why Sunrise sees the greatest potential in "5G for People," or "fiber optics over air," in the first phase of 5G. This will open up opportunities to promote digitalization even further among business customers, especially in the tourism industry, and offer guests significant added value throughout their digital customer journey. Ultra-fast broadband mobile Internet connections across an entire skiing area will enable smooth live 360° videos in 4K quality, augmented reality on winter hikes through the snow or while sunbathing on a mountain top, and much more – and this is just the beginning.