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Switzerland - Premium SMS, Short Code Requirements


The regulations in Switzerland caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that includes Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate ServicesShort Codes, WAP Billing and Operator Billing.




The Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) task is to ensure sustainable development and the provision of basic public services in the interests of society, the environment and the economy. Located at the heart of Europe, Switzerland is dependent on modern transport infrastructure and efficient communications and electricity networks.




Orange_logo.gif     Orange

Orange is the brand used by France Télécom for its mobile network operator and Internet service provider subsidiaries. It is the fifth largest telecom operator in the world, with 210 million customers as of 2010. The brand was created in 1994 for Hutchison Telecom's UK mobile phone network, which was acquired by France Télécom in August 2000. In 2006, the company's ISP operations, previously Wanadoo, were also rebranded Orange. Orange is now the unique commercial façade of almost all France Telecom services. Orange France was incorporated in 2005 and has its headquarters in Arcueil, France.



sunrise_telecom_logo.gif Sunrise

Sunrise Communications AG (commonly known as Sunrise), is a Swiss telecommunications provider based in Zurich. It has 2.8 million customers making it the the second largest telecommunications company after Swisscom. It provides mobile and landline phone and internet services. Since March 2010, the Sunrise headquarters hase been at Binzmühlestrasse 130 in 8050, Zurich after moving there from the Sunrise Tower.



Swisscom AG is a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland. Along with Swiss Post, it is a successor company to the former state-owned PTT. Its headquarters are located at Worblaufen near Bern. The Swiss Confederation owns 56.94% of Swisscom.



Market Statistics


Switzerland enjoys one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the OECD and a competitive mobile market served by a triopoly of international players. The country’s mountainous topography helped to establish a number of cable networks, though in recent years DSL has become the preferred means for accessing broadband and triple-play services. These platforms have been supplemented by a rapidly emerging fibre-optic sector, spearheaded by Swisscom and a number of regional utility companies. Although not a member of the EU, the country’s economic integration has meant that its telecom market deregulation has followed the EU’s liberalisation framework, including the recent regulations on international voice roaming. 



Area: Total: 41,277 sq km Land: 39,997 sq km Water: 1,280 sq km
Cities: Zurich 1.143 million; BERN (capital) 346,000 (2009) 
Terrain: mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Climate: temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Nationality: Noun: Swiss (singular and plural) Adjective: Swiss
Population: 7,639,961 (July 2011 est.)
Annual population growth rate: 0.21% (2011 est.)
Language: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)
Flag: flag_switzerland.png 

Type: Formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic
Independence: 1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
Constitution: Revision of Constitution of 1874 approved by the Federal Parliament 18 December 1998, adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, officially entered into force 1 January 2000
Branches: Chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline CALMY-REY; Vice President Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government representing the Federal Council; the Federal Council is the formal chief of state and head of government whose council members, rotating in one-year terms as federal president, represent the Council; head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline CALMY-REY; Vice President Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF; cabinet: Federal Council is elected by the Federal Assembly usually from among its members for a four-year term
Political parties: Green Party; Christian Democratic People's Party ; Conservative Democratic Party; Free Democratic Party; Social Democratic Party; Swiss People's Party; and other minor parties
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Nominal GDP: $324.5 billion (2010 est.)
GDP per capita: $42,600 (2010 est.)
Annual GDP growth rate: 2.6% (2010 est.)
Natural resources: Hydropower potential, timber, salt
Agriculture: Grains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs
Industry: Machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, and insurance
Trade: Export - Germany 19.2%, US 10.2%, Italy 7.9%, France 7.7%, UK 5.9% (2010) Import - Germany 32%, Italy 10.2%, France 8.5%, US 5.3%, Netherlands 4.5%, Austria 4.3% (2010)



Market Growth

General region↓ Total number of Internet users (thousands)↓ Internet Users per 100 inhab.↓ Total population (thousands)↓ GDP per capita↓ GDP total (thousands)↓ Mobile subscibers per 100 inhab.↓ Total number of mobile subscribers (thousands)↓
Europe 7,623 70.9 7,731 $45,265 $321898000 119.7  9255
[source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source]



 The franc (sign: Fr; code: CHF) is the currency and legal tender of Switzerland. The smaller denomination, a hundredth of a franc, is a Rappen

10 CHF in £GBP

10 CHF in $USD

10 CHF in €EUR


Approval Process

As part of the application process for a short code, you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF).


Promotional Guidelines

Web initiated services are advertised on the website where the user also enters his MSISDN to activate the service. Besides the instructions on how the service could be activated, the following information needs to be provided on the web page:

  • Price per message and content delivery frequency.
  • The procedure for deactivating the service.
  • Hotline number of the Mobile Service Provider (must be the same number as the one given in response to INFO and HELP).
  • If it is adult service it must be stated on the website.
  • Info that for standard charged MO message price depends on user's tariff model.
  • Optionally e-mail address can be provided.

Q: How should I promote my services in Switzerland?

A: You can find regulatory and information about setting the web subscription services on Swisscom's website :

For web opt-ins basically, service has to work on the following way:

1) User puts his MSISDN on web site.
2) We send him free SMS with legal warning (price, period, service, hotline, ...) and asking to reply with  START KEYWORD (e.g. START NEWS)
3) User send START KEYWORD
4) User is now subscribed and we can send him Charged MTs until he sends STOP


Subscriptions are possible with Swisscom -

The flow is the same as a one-time payment transaction.

The user clicks on the 'purchase' button, they will be redirected to the payment page. Here they will be presented with the 'subscribe now' page, which is similar to the 'pay now' page that the user is presented with for one-time payments.

If their number isn't recognised, they will have to verify their number by entering their MSISDN and a PIN. 


Messages Flow Requirements

Opt-in confirmation and age verification request message:

Before the activation of the service, the user must be notified free of charge about, and must confirm the following:

  • Price per message and content delivery frequency.
  • The procedure for deactivating the service.
  • Service Provider’s name and hotline number.
  • For wap push services - warning that GPRS is charged for data transfer.
  • For erotic services – notice that it is 18+ service.

- Example for non-erotic opt-in: “Bitte bestätige das Abo mit {response} an {shortid}. [price] CHF+GPRS Geb. [number_of_sms] SMS/Tag. Abmelden: STOP {keyword} an {shortid}. Hotline: [hotline_number].”

- Example for erotic opt-in: “Bestätige das Abo mit {response} an {shortid}. [price] CHF+GPRS Geb. [number_of_sms] SMS/Tag. Abmelden: STOP {keyword} an {shortid}. Hotline: [hotline_number]. Ab 18J.”

Opt-in confirmation message:
Preferrably, end user sends START as opt-in confirmation, however any of the following strings are allowed: JA, OK, START, YES, OUI, SI. Opt-in needs to be confirmed within 60 minutes after the opt-in confirmation request was sent.

Welcome message:

Welcome message is not mandatory but is recommended. Once the user confirms opt-in, he receives free of charge Welcome message containing the following information:

  • Price per message and frequency
  • The procedure for deactivating the service
  • Service Provider’s name and hotline number

- Example: “Wilkommen im Horoskop SMS Abo! 5 mal pro Woche bekommst du SMS mit deinem täglichen Horoskop! Abmelden mit STOP HOROSKOP an xxx. CHF 3.00/sms“.

Messages with content:
According to regulative from BAKOM, at the end of every billing message text with instruction how to stop the service (by calling hotline number) must be added. Alternatively, an additional free of charge message with instruction on how to deactivate the service can be sent following each billing message.

- Example: “Some text in MT message. STOP: 08** ****”

NOTE: Recommendation is that billing messages should not be sent at the time when Customer care is not working. Otherwise the end users (if they could not reach a person on advertised hotline number) complain directly to the operator which causes many problems.

For content download services, wap push link and billing message must be sent to the end customer in a separate message. Message with wap push link has to be free of charge. Billing message is sent separately.

Opt-out confirmation message (goodbye):
After end user sends STOP keyword the subscription is terminated and user needs to receive free of charge opt-out confirmation (goodbye) message.

- Example: "Du bist vom SMS Abo jetzt abgemeldet. Willst du 10 Kontaktangaben von netten SMS-Girls? Schicke ANGABE auf xxx, CHF 1.20/sms, ab 18 J.”

NOTE: In opt-out confirmation message remaining characters can be used to advertise other services or to instruct the user how to start the service again.


Service Types

Most service types are allowed, however some require specific approval from the regulators. Adult is allowed via a dedicated code only and opt in is via Double Opt-in (DO). Local support is an absolute requirement.

You are not able to run any services that contain offensive, unsuitable and unlawful content, in particular:

(a) Unsuitable for minors

(b) Incites crime

(c) Describes unlawful sexual activity

(d) Promotes violence

(e) Causes alarm

(f) Breaches a law

(g) Breaches a code of practice


Billing Types

We operate on Message Terminated (MT) billed line on dedicated lines in the Switzerland. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.


Shortcodes and Keywords

On our dedicated code in Switzerland, we operate on a 3 digit short code for each carrier.



The current Switzerland rate of tax is available via Wikipedia. The out-payments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher out-payment than is shown.


Dedicated Codes 

Dedicated codes are available with a 2 - 5 week lead time depending on carrier availability, the carriers approve based on their backlog, the time of year, price point and service type. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in Switzerland via the txtNation Gateway.


Switzerland has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations:

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services
  • Operator Billing (Direct-to-bill)
  • WAP Billing
  • MSISDN Pass-through 

Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in Switzerland include:

  • HLR Lookup
  • Bulk SMS 

Note: This page is updated as frequently as possible when we are informed from the regulators or mobile operators in Switzerland of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in Switzerland. Please contact your account manager for more information.

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