Swiss telecommunications provider Swisscom launched two new offerings for fixed line customers on 19 May 2014. These customers can receive calls anywhere in the world on their tablets via their existing fixed line number, at no extra charge. This is enabled by the new iO@home feature in the operator’s iO communications app. Furthermore, customers subscribing to a Vivo package can make unlimited calls to any Swiss network using their fixed line number and an internet connection whether they are calling from within Switzerland or abroad. These new services are currently available for iPad users only. Customers subscribing to a Vivo M, L or XL package can also choose a TV offering with fewer channels and without the time-delayed viewing feature for a CHF 15.00 (US $16.75) reduction in the monthly tariff.
The EU directive that will eliminate roaming charges from 15 December 2015 does not apply to Switzerland, as it is a non-EU state. However, a sizable segment of its population frequently travels or lives abroad, making both international calling and roaming key features for this market. Swisscom launched its free iO app in June 2013 as its answer to the competition from OTT services which would affect both the international calling and roaming segments. A key feature used to promote this app is that all data is encrypted and stored on secure Swiss servers. As of February 2014, more than 600,000 users had signed up for the app, including a significant number of customers from rival Swiss networks. Since its launch, Swisscom has used the app as another medium by which to extend the benefits of its packages to its subscribers. For example, subscribers to the Natel Infinity XL mobile plan, which offers unlimited calls to numbers in Switzerland, the EU, the U.S. and Canada, can also use the app to make similar calls free of charge, whereas for other customers, the international calling feature using the app is a flat-rate add-on.
Now Swisscom is integrating this app with its Vivo packages, which bundle fixed telephony with Swisscom TV 2.0 and high-speed broadband at monthly fees ranging from CHF 69.00 (US $77.05) to CHF 169.00 (US $188.71). By combining any Vivo package (except Vivo Casa) with any Natel Infinity mobile subscription, users can get a discount ranging from CHF 5.00 (US $5.58) to CHF 25.00 (US $27.92). Thus through bundling of services and the app offering, Swisscom is not only addressing the competition from OTT services but it is also protecting its fixed line revenues. Furthermore, the promotion of the app for roaming calls in conjunction with competitive data travel packs for its Natel subscribers may increase data revenues, as well.
The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues: http://www.tarifica.com/TarificaAlert.aspx