Berne, 27 December 2006
31 December 2006 will see the end of a telecommunications era when 111, the most frequently requested Swisscom Fixnet number, is taken out of operation. The new number 1811 has been in use since April of this year, and will replace the directory enquiries numbers 111, 1151 to 1154 and 1159 at the end of the year. Number 1811 can now be accessed from all networks and can be dialled by all fixed network and mobile customers in Switzerland.
In 1921 the national directory enquiries number consisted of only two digits (11) and was also used to obtain information on recipes, homework, free hotel rooms and regional weather conditions. From 1958 the service was limited to directory enquiries only, and for the next ten years was subject to a charge of CHF 0.20 per enquiry. The number was changed to three digits in the 1970s and by the 1990s had virtually become a national symbol, registering almost 90 million enquiries a year. In recent years new functions such as direct connection (key 5) and SMS (key 6) have been added to the service. In 2006 Swisscom's 111 directory enquiries service fielded some 30 million calls.
Under the terms of a Federal Council decree, all telecommunications service providers must replace their three-digit directory enquiries numbers with four-digit numbers beginning with 18 by the end of this year. The new Swisscom Fixnet number 1811 can be accessed from all networks and is available round the clock. The five directory enquiries numbers (1151, 1152, 1153, 1154 and 1159) as well as the national directory enquiries number will be combined under a single number.