Infrastructure of fixed networks

A connection is the physical connection point that allows a user to access the operators' telecommunication network and thus the services they offer. Connections permitting traditional PSTN or ISDN type telephony (table IF1) have been decreasing for several years, whereas, in table IF2, connections permitting the new types of telecommunications are developing rapidly (for example: access by WLAN, fibre connections or vDSL connections).

Number of PSTN + ISDN connections deployed (property of the TSP) and number of access lines (Table IF1)

Number of connections on 31.12 by type of network


Analogue PSTN network

Digital ISDN BA network (NT1, 2B+D) Digital ISDN PRA network (30B+D)


Number of access lines on 31.12
2014 2'209'252 495'514 11'886 2'716'652 3'556'860
2015     2'162'726        416'939         11'069 2'590'734 3'328'674
2016     1'999'544        320'225           9'865 2'329'634 2'935'944
2017 1'365'004 170'079 7'747 1'542'830 1'937'572
2018 a) a) a) a) a)
2019 a) a) a) a) a)
Var. 18-19 a) a) a) a) a)
a) This information has no longer been collected since 2018.

Number of PSTN + ISDN connections


A connection is the physical connection point (of a user or a TSP) giving access to the network of a TSP (or even other TSPs), and therefore access to the services offered by these TSPs. Three types of connection are taken into account in table IF1:

  • PSTN (public switched telephone network): analogue switched telephone network with a bandwidth of 3.1 kHz (as opposed to the digital ISDN network);
  • Basic rate access to the ISDN network (Basic Rate Access): telephone connection with two channels each of 64 kbps (2 B channels for voice and data) and one 16 kbit/s channel (D channel, for signalling and data);
  • Primary connection to the ISDN PRA network (Primary Rate Access): 2 Mbit/s telephone connections, i.e. the equivalent of 30 B channels (64 kbit/s each).

Table IF1 shows the number of connections deployed and the number of access lines. In this regard, we stress that the number of access channels to the telephone network measures the potentially available analogue or digital channels. Unlike connections, this basic indicator is based on the total number of ISDN channels potentially available on a line. Potentially, one ISDN BA connection has available two channels whilst an ISDN PRA connection has thirty channels.

Specialist staff
Last modification 16.07.2021

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