At LAAX: Sunrise goes live with the world’s first standardized 5G network at a ski resort

Media Release


Zurich, November 27, 2018

At LAAX: Sunrise goes live with the world’s first standardized 5G network at a ski resort

  • LAAX is a pioneer in the tourism and leisure industry as well as a trend-setter in digitalization.
  • A world first: Sunrise is going live with its second 5G network – the world's first standardized 5G network at a ski resort – at LAAX on Crap Sogn Gion mountain (2252 m above sea level).

"A world record under laboratory conditions, the first end-to-end 5G network in Switzerland with '5G for People', and now the world's first standardized 5G network at a ski resort," says Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee. "All of this has been achieved in just under 12 months. Holding on firmly to its title of 5G pioneer, Sunrise is continuing to forge ahead with its '5G for People' initiative. We're proud of the fact that we're now able to go live with the world's first 'fiber optics over air' network at Switzerland's most innovative ski resort."


"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.


Sunrise is providing Crap Sogn Gion (2252 m above sea level) and the LAAX resort with 5G antennas in the 3.5-GHz frequency range. The simplest type of 8x8 MIMO antenna now allows devices to reach bandwidths of over 300 Mbit/s. Once MIMO technologies with 32x32 and 64x64 antennas are used commercially, these devices will be able to reach bandwidths of over 1 Gbit/s, the equivalent of "fiber optics over air."



Save the date: Thursday, February 28, 2019

During the presentation of its annual business results for 2018,

Sunrise will announce its first commercial 5G activities 2019.



More information about Sunrise and 5G:

For further information about LAAX:


NOTE: Reto Gurtner, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Weisse Arena Group, and Olaf Swantee, CEO of Sunrise, would be pleased to provide telephone statements/interviews.