Swisscom follows Telefónica lead with OTT calls app

June 25, 2013

3 Min Read

BERNE, Switzerland -- Swisscom is the first Swiss provider to launch a free app for web-based telephony and messaging. The iO app for smartphones allows all users worldwide to communicate simply, securely and free of charge over the Internet. “Thanks to iO and our attractive roaming charges, Swisscom customers benefit even when they are abroad. It means customers can make calls for as little as CHF 0.09 per minute,” said Urs Schaeppi, Head of Swisscom Switzerland. The data required to operate iO are exclusively stored in Switzerland.With the successful launch of Natel Infinity, Swisscom has captured the zeitgeist and revolutionised the mobile market. More and more customers are making calls, sending texts and surfing the mobile Internet without having to worry about the costs. At the same time, apps and Internet services such as WhatsApp and Skype are becoming increasingly popular, and it is impossible to imagine a world without smartphones and tablets. Swisscom is now launching its own app, iO, which enables customers to make calls, send instant messages and share images. iO allows you to call and chat with other iO users simply, securely and free of charge – anywhere in the world. All it takes is Internet access over WLAN, 3G or 4G/LTE. You don’t need a Swisscom mobile line.iO is available as a free download for smartphones running Apple iOS (from the Apple App Store) or Google Android (from Google Play). Registration is via your own mobile number. This allows users to make calls with their own telephone number directly from the iO app, a feature that distinguishes iO from other free services.iO isn't just for free calls to other iO users over the Internet, however. The link to the existing telephone network means customers can also call all fixed-line and mobile numbers throughout Switzerland and in many other countries. From 1 July, iO customers can choose between two add-on options depending on their requirements. The CH flat-rate option from CHF 15 per month offers unlimited calls to all Swiss networks. The special international flat-rate option for CHF 25 per month also offers unlimited calls to Europe, Canada and the US. The CH flat-rate option is now available free of charge to all Natel infinity customers, while the international flat-rate is included in the infinity XL subscription. The options can also be booked by other Swisscom customers, and the CH flat-rate option is even available to customers of other mobile providers. Those who like to communicate via instant messaging can also benefit: users without iO will receive the messages as free texts, wherever they are in the world.The huge reduction in roaming charges with iO means making calls while abroad has never been more affordableAll iO functions can also be used in other countries, so making calls while abroad has never been more affordable. If your mobile is connected to a (free) WLAN network, there are no additional charges. And thanks to the new data roaming packages, Swisscom customers can still make calls much more cheaply while abroad even where there’s no WLAN network. With a 50 MB weekly package, customers can call their friends and family in Switzerland via the iO app for as little as CHF 0.09 per minute.All data, including that required to operate the service, run on secure servers in Switzerland and are therefore subject to Swiss data protection laws. In addition, Swisscom only stores the data required for operation. Unlike with other apps, the personal address book, for example, is not copied automatically.Further functions such as group chat, video telephony and a version of the app for tablets are already in development and will follow in late summer. Users will then be able to use iO on both their smartphones and their tablets. iO will take care of synchronisation, meaning that things like call and chat histories will always be available on all devices.Swisscom AG

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