50 years of
Angelo Saccoccia, CEO of Swissphone, talks
to Critical Communications Today about his
company’s past, present and future
www.criticalcomms.com October 2019
How has the landscape changed in the 50 years
since Swissphone was established?
Having been a supplier to mission-critical organisations for 50
years, we’ve developed a good feel for the sector and we clearly
understand the difference between fads and real trends.
We have accompanied and implemented the migration
from analogue to digital alerting with many customers in
different countries. We have experienced the debate over
TETRA or GSM as a POCSAG substitution, and today we
are monitoring the development of push-to-talk missioncritical
LTE and its impact on alerting. That said, the
requirements for our customers remain the same:
• In an emergency, every second counts
• Quick and easy transmission of the alarm message, delayfree,
simultaneous alarming of all required persons/groups
• Absolute reliability 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
• The best possible coverage where auxiliary staff are located
• Building penetration of the radio signal
• Redundancy and emergency power supply of all critical
system elements, combined with low operating costs
• Fast and reliable service
• Device batteries that can last for several weeks
• The highest possible independence from thirdparty
However, new trends are shaping the future of critical
communications technologies including paging. With regard
to external challenges, we have identified the following topics:
terror attacks, cyber attacks on power grids, natural disasters
and the tendency of mobile networks to be overloaded in
such circumstances. When it comes to internal challenges, it
is particularly important to take the following into account:
recruitment, financial resources (costs) and mobility of the
users (many volunteers don’t live where they work).
Cyber attacks and data breaches, together with unplanned
IT and telecom outages, have recently become important
issues and are directly related to technology and the ability to
protect, manage and access information.
What’s been the most important event in the
This year we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary. Helmut and
Erika Köchler – both active members of the board of directors
until recently – launched the company in 1969 and developed
it successfully to become a major international provider of
alerting and critical messaging solutions. This means a lot for
Swissphone and we are very grateful to our customers, partners
and employees that we were able to achieve this together.
The Köchler family recently transferred ownership
of the company to its current management team
and a group of Swiss and German entrepreneurs.
How will it affect the company going forward?
Swissphone’s management and other investors chose to become
the company’s new owners because of their confidence in its
strategy and growth potential. The core features of that strategy
In particular, we want to further consolidate our position
in the public safety sector, tackle new customer groups such as
hospitals and industrial companies, and expand our range of
alarm management services. We are not planning any major
changes in our strategy and organisational set-up.
What are the main initiatives/changes that you’ve
introduced since you became CEO four years ago?
We successfully launched our s.QUAD pager. This alerting
device offers a high wearing comfort, is robust and not to be
overheard: it convinces with its ultra-modern and functional
design, its excellent reception, its dust- and waterproof housing
and its volume.
We have made important investments to future-proof our
regional and national network architecture to alert faster with
greater resilience and robustness. I’d like to highlight our s.ONE
platform as well. This is a modular, state-of-the-art solution
suite that covers all relevant stages in the alerting process. It will
lead to more process efficiency and more security, as well as to
economic advantages for public safety organisations.
We have made important
investments to future-proof our
regional and national network architecture
to alert faster with greater resilience