Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
ADSL is one of the technologies referred to under the generic term "xDSL" which allow digital subscriber connections via ordinary copper telephone cable. This technology allows significantly higher data transmission rates than, for example, ISDN. ADSL is an asymmetric technique. This means that the data transmission rates are not symmetrical. The capacity available to the user for incoming data traffic (downstream) is larger than for outgoing traffic (upstream). ADSL is therefore particularly suited to internet access, since in this case large volumes of data are typically downloaded to the user whereas only small amounts of data are sent in the reverse direction.
BWA is defined as broadband wireless access to a telecommunications network, for example for internet access. BWA is a generic term for various wireless access technologies such as WLL (Wireless Local Loop), FBWA (Fixed Broadband Wireless Access) or MBWA (Mobile Broadband Wireless Access). WiMAX (WiMAX Forum) and HiperMAN (ETSI) are the “brands” corresponding to these technologies.
The WiMAX Forum (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access Forum, www.wimaxforum.org) is a not-for-profit association of equipment and component manufacturers. Its goal is to promote the use of equipment conforming to the IEEE 802.16 standard (http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/16/index.html) by operators of broadband wireless access systems and to ensure equipment compatibility and interoperability. In this regard, the WiMAX philosophy is comparable to that of the Wi-Fi Alliance, which promotes the application of the IEEE 802.11 standard for wireless local area networks (WLANs).
The universal service consists of a basic offering of telecommunications services which, according to the Law on Telecommunication (LTC of 30.4.1997), must be provided nationally to all sectors of the population, in good quality and at a reasonable price. Such basic services include, for example, the public subscriber connections, access to the emergency services, an adequate provision of public telephones (public callboxes) or special services for the visually and hearing impaired. The universal service therefore ensures from the outset that any possible regional or social disadvantage does not prevent access to the most fundamental means of social communication. It is within the remit of the Federal Council to adapt the content of the universal service periodically to social and economic needs as well as to technological developments. The Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) is obliged by the Law on Telecommunications (LTC) to periodically put the licence for universal service in telecommunications out to tender and to award it on the basis of a competition based on criteria.
Global System for Mobile Communication
GSM is a standard for second-generation digital cellular mobile radio networks originally developed for Europe by the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). However, GSM has become the most widely used standard for mobile communications, not only in Europe but also world-wide. In Europe, Asia and Australia, GSM uses the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands; in North America and Latin America, however, the 1900 MHz frequency band is used. With a data transmission rate of only 9600 bit/s, however, data transmission in GSM networks is subject to narrow limits. Various additional techniques (HSCSD, GPRS), however, allow the data transmission rates to be increased; this is important not so much for voice traffic as for faster access to more comprehensive text and image information (multimedia services, internet access).
General Packet Radio Services
GPRS is a packet-switching technique for improving data transmission rates in GSM mobile radio networks. Trunking allows theoretical data transmission rates of up to 171.2 kbit/s to be achieved. The advanced transmission of data in packets (packet switching) not only simplifies internet access but also allows more efficient use to be made of the channels which are available in a GSM cell as a fixed connection need not exist between the transmitter and receiver. Users can, however, always be connected logically with the server (always on principle). In addition, the actual volume of data transferred can be used for charging/billing purposes. GPRS requires upgrading of older GSM networks.
Interconnection describes the connection between telecommunications networks which allows co-use of the infrastructure of a different provider. Interconnection, for example, allows subscribers of one provider to communicate with the subscribers of a different provider. In addition, according to the Law on Telecommunications (LTC of 30.4.1997, Art 11 para. 1), market-dominant telecommunication services providers are obliged to guarantee interconnection for their competitors at cost-based prices. Any operator providing services forming part of the universal service in accordance with Art 16 must guarantee interoperability between all users of this service and is also obliged to guarantee interconnection, if they do not hold a market dominant position and are not the holders of the universal license (LTC Art. 21a, para. 3).
National frequency allocation plan
The national frequency allocation plan contains the frequency bands allocated in Switzerland and provides a comprehensive overview of the use of the frequency spectrum in Switzerland (e.g. radio, mobile telephony, WLL, military, police or amateur radio, etc.) in which the current or planned type of use for each frequency band is prescribed, and which is usually coordinated at international level. The Federal Council approves the national frequency allocation plan (LTC Art. 25, para. 2).
National numbering plan
A national numbering plan specifies the structure and type of use of specific addressing resources. Numbering plan E.164 / 2002 for example, specifies the number format of telephone numbers, allocates numbering blocks to specific telecommunication services and lays down the details of the implementation of the plan. In a liberalised telecommunications market, it is essential for an agency which is independent of operators to allocate the addressing resources which are indispensable for all types of communication. OFCOM is responsible for drawing up and managing the numbering plans, and ComCom is responsible for approving them.
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
The term UMTS describes the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) standard for third-generation packet-switched digital mobile radio networks - which supersede analogue networks and the first digital GSM networks. UMTS is the European standard within the IMT2000 family for the third-generation mobile radio systems. UMTS allows the provision of multimedia services and the transmission of various forms of broadband content (voice, data, images, internet access) directly to mobile telephones and other wireless devices. The technical standard will allow data transmission rates of at least 144 kbit/s (with a later target of 384 kbit/s) in a rural environment and up to 2 Mbit/s in enclosed premises and close proximity.
The last mile or the local loop describes the connection from the local exchange to the subscriber. For historical reasons, the ordinary copper cables which are generally still in use on these sections of the fixed network are owned by the (former) state monopoly in many countries (in Switzerland: Swisscom). Interconnection charges have to be paid to the cable owner for co-use of this infrastructure.