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WT/TPR/S/208Trade Policy Review Page 120

and occupational sickness.  The premiums are imposed by the Government according to different risk classifications depending on the type of activity.  The scope for competition among insurers is limited to administration costs.  All compulsory accident insurers are registered in a list and supervised by the Office for Health.

8.

Social security also consists of old age and widowers' pension, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance. There are three pillars of old age and widower's pension and disability insurance: the compulsory scheme for all persons living or working in Liechtenstein;  the occupational pension scheme that is compulsory for employed persons earning more than Sw F 19,890 per year, and designed to enable the insured person to maintain his/her living standards after retirement;  and a pillar that consists of individual saving measures.  The first pillar is operated by a public establishment.  The second and the third pillars, which are operated by private insurers, are governed by the Financial Market Authority, which took over the supervision of the insurance subsector from the Insurance Supervisory Authority in January 2005.    

(iii) Telecommunications

(a) Switzerland

1.

Teledensity has remained high in Switzerland, with mobile connections increasingly substituting for fixed telephone lines (Table IV.12).  Switzerland had one of the highest Internet and broadband penetration rates in Europe at over 30% in 2007, ranking third among OECD countries.65  

Table IV.12

Swiss main telecom indicators, 2000-07

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

ISDN subscribers

726,341

860,801

913,480

927,000

928,888

907,334

863,138

820,000a

Main (fixed) telephone lines in operation

5,235,733

5,383,483

5,387,568

5,323,452

5,253,450

5,149,736

5,039,600

5,000,000

Main (fixed) telephone lines/100 inhabitants

72.6

74.3

74.0

72.3

70.8

69.0

69.4

66.81

Mobile cellular telephone subscribers (digital)

4,638,519

5,275,791

5,736,303

6,189,000

6,275,000

6,834,000

7,418,000

8,096,000a

Mobile cellular telephone subscribers/100 inhabitants

64.3

72.8

78.8

84.0

84.6

91.6

98.8

106.6a

Internet subscribers

1,665,428

2,093,162

2,337,048

2,730,622

2,250,434

2,585,277

2,875,128

2,950,000

aData from OFCOM.

Source:International Telecommunication Union (2007), ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database 2007;  and information provided by the Swiss authorities.  

2.

Switzerland's initial commitments on basic telecommunications largely reflect the monopoly situation that prevailed prior to the 1997 liberalization.66  Following the passage of the 1997 Telecommunications Law (LTC)67, Switzerland communicated revised commitments to the WTO.68  

65 OECD online information, "Penetration:  Broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants (December 2007)".  Viewed at:  http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/21/35/39574709.xls [26 March 2008].

66 These commitments are contained in WTO document GATS/SC/83/Suppl.3, 11 April 1997.  See also WTO documents S/C/N/271-296, 26-27 February 2004, on technical issues.

67 RS 784.10.

68 WTO document GATS/SC/83/Suppl.3/Rev.1, 28 January 1998.

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