of our history
Our company’s roots date back to 1852. One thing has never changed: like Swisscom today, its predecessors were always at the forefront of technological advances, setting new standards and trends.
The launch of the first telegraph service between St. Gallen and Zurich in 1852 marked the birth of telecommunications in Switzerland. The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 gave new impetus to the field. By 1896, the telephone had been introduced in all Swiss cantons.
In 1917, the first semi-automatic telephone switchboard went into operation in Zurich-Hottingen. By 1948, Switzerland had 500,000 telephone subscribers. There were 1 million subscribers by 1959, the year in which the Swiss telephone network became the first fully automated network in the world.
Telstar – the first telecommunications satellite – was launched into space in 1962. At Expo 1964 in Lausanne, the first exchange to permit international direct dialing was unveiled. In 1974, the Leuk satellite earth station went into operation in the canton of Wallis.
In 1975, PTT-Betriebe (Switzerland’s postal and telecommunications services) decided to introduce a mobile telephone network for vehicles (NATEL = Nationales Autotelefonnetz or national car phone network). Three years later, the first NATEL A network was launched, followed by NATEL B in 1983 and NATEL C in 1987. In 1985, the first fibre-optic cable was laid between Berne and Neuchâtel.
In 1988, Telecom PTT introduced Switzerland’s first digital telecommunications network (ISDN). The mobile phone network was digitised in 1992 under the name NATEL D. Telecom PTT’s "Blue Window" Internet portal, launched in 1996, soon became the market leader. On 1 October 1997, Telecom PTT became Swisscom.
On 5 October 1998, Swisscom Ltd was floated on the stock exchange. In 2007, Swisscom entered the TV industry and, by the end of 2012, it led the digital TV market with 791,000 subscribers. From 2009, Swisscom pushed ahead with the expansion of the fibre-optic network in Switzerland.