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

5th January 2019

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LAAX is a pioneer in the tourism and leisure industry as well as a trend-setter in digitalisation.

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).

“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.”

“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.”

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.

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.