Mai 2009 Event

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Sonia Gabriel

Switzernet: A Fast Growing Company Despite Crisis
By Thierry Dime

If we check the latest report from Eurostat, the economy of 16 European countries belonging to the euro area has shrunk by 1.6% during the last three months compared to the previous quarter, increasing the number of unemployed within the EU. Unemployed people today represent 8.5% of the total labor force of the member countries of the euro area. It is expected that the unemployment rate will raise to a 2-digit number in the coming months, – when countries such as Germany will give up their form of “technical unemployment” to impose mass layoffs.

However, despite this gloomy economic situation, there are companies that manage to pull their chestnuts out of the fire by presenting positive results. This is the case of Switzernet, a company in Lausanne (Switzerland), specialized in Internet telephony (VoIP), which recently was noticed through it’s activities in developing countries. Our team was interested to know more, so we meet Mrs Sonia Gabriel, a member of the executive committee of Switzernet.

Thank you Sonia for receiving us and first of all let us emphasize the fact that a majority of companies are currently suspending their funding to NGOs but not Switzernet. What makes the strength of a company like yours?

The strength of our company is its attractive rates (if we check the data in comparis.ch, Switzernet offer the lowest rates per minute for many countries) and our easy solution letting everybody to benefit from the best of the VOIP technology just at home. Thanks to our product, one doesn’t need to know a bit about technology to be able to use it – our product is just plug and play. Additional point concerning our rates – the second by second billing and no connection fee increase the difference between our prices with those of other VOIP services providers. Our main goal is to provide the best possible rate for each destination. Most of our customers are just happy to pay their bills – as it’s always lower then they’d expect…

We had some technical issues during the year 2007 because of improper configuration with one of our suppliers. This caused malfunctioning in the network, which affected the quality of connection of some of our customers. We have since resolved the problem and are now satisfied with the quality of service we offer. This was confirmed by the test during the program « On en parle », Radio Suisse Romande.

Sonia Gabriel

We found out recently that Switzernet supports development projects in developing countries especially in the education sector, – why this commitment from your company?

Education is the main factor for the development of a nation. A good education provides talents, and teachers are the key to this education. Supporting education is supporting tomorrow’s society.

Will Switzernet always be alongside NGOs?

Considering the growth of our business in past months and – I hope – in the future, there is no reason to give it up. I think our customers are happy to know that they are indirectly involved in such actions.

To conclude, can you tell me if Switzernet will further reduce the phone bill of Swiss households?

We are already the first in pricing thanks to our rates and our goal is to stay first. For the rest, – we offer the best possible rates with a perfect service. Surely not everything is perfect, but we are working on it. In February we went from 6 to 12 free destinations and we have reduced the tariffs in many countries such as Italy, Belgium, China, Cameroon etc…. Currently, Switzernet checks the possibility of reducing tariffs for calls to other countries. This of course will make Swiss households happy (laughs …).

Sonia thank you for your availability.

Switzernet
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