SHARE
COPY LINK

TECHNOLOGY

Is there a 5G antenna near you in Switzerland? A new map has the answer

More than 2,200 5G antennas are now deployed in Switzerland, a significant increase from the 102 mounted when the new mobile technology was rolled out in April 2019.

Is there a 5G antenna near you in Switzerland? A new map has the answer
One of the 5G antennae mounted in Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Swiss TV station RTS has created an interactive map showing where the 5G antennas are located throughout the country. 

By moving the line on the map, a user can see the progression of the fifth-generation of cellular technology between June 2019, when only 280 antennas were rolled out, and the present time.

The map was created based on the data from the Federal Office of Communications.

The activation of 5G antennas is not uniform across the country, RTS said.

The largest number of transmitting stations are in big cities, led by Zurich (108), Bern (48), Winterthur (30) and Geneva (27). Some towns, like Yverdon-les-Bains, have none.

Currently, 1018 communes— 46 percent of the country’s municipalities ‑ have at least one 5G antenna.

As for the cantons, Bern, with 416 antennas and Zurich, with 375, are the most connected. Vaud (167) and Geneva (109)  have the most antennas in the French-speaking Switzerland.

Switzerland was among the first nations to begin deploying 5G, but this technology has been controversial here, as it has been in other countries as well.

Because of possible health risks associated with the radiation from the antennas, several cantons have not authorised them. However, operators Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt can still deploy the system by transforming 4G antennas, while respecting the same radiation limit values.

The rollout had sparked a nationwide revolt last year, when thousands have demonstrated in Bern against this technology.

More demonstrations against 5G are scheduled to take place on January 25th in Switzerland and other countries.

READ MORE: Why Switzerland has been ranked 'best country' in the world once again 

 


 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TECHNOLOGY

More than 1.6 million Swiss have downloaded Covid tracing app

Since its launch on June 25th some 20 percent of Switzerland’s population have downloaded the country's Covid-19 track and trace app. But is it enough to curtail the transmission of the virus?

More than 1.6 million Swiss have downloaded Covid tracing app
Authorities hope SwissCovid app will help curb the number of Covid-19 infections. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

Two weeks after its launch, the SwissCovid app has been downloaded by 1.6 million Swiss – or approximately 20 percent of the population.

On the first day of its implementation the Federal Office of Statistics had registered more than half a million users.

On Saturday June 27th, the application was activated almost 810,000 times, according to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office.

Experts say that, to be truly effective, SwissCovid app must be used by at least 60 percent of the population. They expect that more people will download the application in the coming days and weeks.

The government is hopeful that around one in five Swiss will download the app. This is much lower than the 60 percent rate which Oxford University said was necessary to ensure the app functioned effectively in society. 

Sang-Il Kim, the Head of Dept. Digital Transformation at the BAG, said that 20 percent was an optimistic goal. 

“I would be happy if 20 percent of the smartphones would use the app,” Kim said. 

Only newer phones

Approximately 20 percent – or one in five – of smartphone users cannot use the app because their phones are too old. 

Kim said that this was a rate much higher than in other countries, with Switzerland’s efforts benefitting from the country’s love of new devices. 

“We are fortunate that only 20 percent of users are technically excluded from the app. In other countries, up to 50 percent of them have smartphones that are too old.”

Users of iPhone 6 and older models cannot use the app. 

The app registers when an individual comes into contact with other people through a person’s smartphone location systems and bluetooth.

Contact is traced when one person with the app is less than two metres from another person with the app for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. 

Such contacts are recorded anonymously on both devices. 

If one of those users tests positive for the coronavirus, the person will receive a 'covid code' from the cantonal authorities.

READ MORE: Q&A: How will Switzerland's coronavirus tracing app work? 

If you have an iPhone 6 or a more recent model, or an Android 6, you can download the app for free from:

Google Play Store for Android

Apple Store for iOS

The tracing of transmission chains is crucial in curtailing the spread of coronavirus, especially as the number of cases increased in Switzerland in recent days.

The Federal Office of Public Health said that within the last week, the number of infections climbed from 18 on June 25th to 62 on Sunday. 

According to Matthias Egger, the head of the government’s Covid-19 Task Force, the spike in cases can be attributed to the recent lifting of lockdown restrictions, including the opening of borders with the EU on June 15th.  

SHOW COMMENTS