The directory enquiry services (format 18xy)
National and international directory enquiry services have been obtainable only via 18xy numbers.
The introduction of 18xy short numbers in 2001 saw the entry onto the market of new providers of this type of service, previously reserved for telephony operators exclusively. Consumers have a choice of several providers when they are looking for a contact's telephone number. This system allows pricing transparency and establishes genuine competition.
In order to provide telephone information, holders of 18xy numbers must fulfil several conditions:
- The service must be available at all times, throughout Switzerland and in the three official languages.
- The hotline must record an annual number of calls that represents at least 1% of all calls made on the whole range of short numbers 18xy allocated.
- The data of subscribers who have refused to be entered in the directory cannot be communicated.
- Information which is not related to directory data (train timetables, cultural events,...) cannot be provided directly via these numbers.
- The provision of international directory information services is optional.
The information may be provided verbally or by SMS / MMS. In addition, a direct connection with the contact who is being sought may also be established, unless these are calls to premium rate services in the "adult entertainment" (0906) category.