BERNE, 29-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Switzerland has a world-class Information and Communication Technology (ICT) scene. According to the annual rankings of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Switzerland has risen to fourth place worldwide. The country’s strengths include broadband provision and its mobile broadband network. These results prove that Switzerland’s infrastructure competition is a model for success.
This is not an award for individual providers, but for Switzerland as a whole. The latest ICT Development Index (IDI) by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is indisputable evidence of Switzerland’s leading position on the world stage. Switzerland ranks in fourth place, just behind South Korea, Iceland and Denmark, rising five places since 2008 when the ITU published its first report.
The ICT Development Index is based on three indicators: “Access” – the number of fixed-line telephone and mobile access lines per 100 residents, average Internet speed and the number of households with computer and Internet connection. “Usage” – internet usage and the number of fixed network and mobile broadband connections per 100 residents. “Skills” – General education level and ICT skills. Switzerland’s ranking in 4th place is primarily down, “Access” (9th place) and “Usage” (2nd place), with the country coming in 31st out of 175 in “Skills”.
A major factor behind Switzerland’s success is the high level of investment in IT infrastructure. According to the OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015, Switzerland invests USD 394.5 per resident in its communications infrastructure. This is down to the infrastructure competition between cable network operators, electrical utility companies and Swisscom, as well as Switzerland’s relatively liberal regulatory framework compared to the EU.
In addition to the IDI, the ITU report contains a number of interesting price comparisons. To ensure a fair comparison between the 175 countries included in the study, the ITU experts use price baskets for fixed broadband and mobile broadband in relation to the gross income per resident. Switzerland scored 8th place in fixed broadband prices and 13th place in mobile broadband prices. According to ITU, this therefore means that residents in Switzerland enjoy telecommunications services at a relatively good price.