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Austria - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 18 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 207

Austria’s MNOs launch 5G services while awaiting additional spectrum

Austria’s telecom market is dominated by the incumbent Telekom Austria and by Magenta Telekom, which was formed from the merger of T-Mobile Austria and the cableco UPC Austria in early 2019. Magenta Telekom has since been better placed to compete across all sectors. In common with operators elsewhere in Europe, those in Austria are focussed on the provision of bundled services as a measure to attract and retain customers.

There is considerable competition in the fixed-line broadband and mobile sectors. The mobile market is dominated by the three network operators 3 Austria, Magenta Telekom (formerly T-Mobile Austria) and Telekom Austria’s own unit A1. However, the market also benefits from a growing number of new entrants in the MVNO sector, which collectively have about 6.5% of the market by subscribers. The growth in the MVNO sector is partly due to regulatory concessions by which 3 Austria, as a condition of its take-over of Orange Austria, was obliged to provide a third of its network capacity to support up to 16 MVNOs.

The competitive environment has led to relatively low ARPU for operators, as well as some of the region’s lowest tariffs for consumers. The operators’ LTE networks have benefited from regulatory measures which have allowed operators to refarm existing 2G and 3G spectrum for LTE, while spectrum in the 700MHz has also been set aside for 5G services, which were launched commercially in early 2020. The regulator is planning to auction additional spectrum in a range of bands by mid-2020, in line with wider European spectrum policies.

The Austrian fixed-line broadband market is dominated by the DSL sector, while the cable broadband sector has held a steady share of connections. The fibre sector was slow to develop, and although fibre penetration remains low there is considerable vigour among operators to build out network infrastructure: Telekom Austria is in the process of extending its fibre infrastructure to additional 300,000 premises, affecting some 500 towns. Ongoing investment in the sector suggests stronger growth in coming years, and as a result the number of DSL lines is expected to fall as customers are migrated to fibre. Magenta Telekom, having acquired UPC Austria’s networks, continues to invest in DOCSIS3.1 technology, while Telekom Austria has also invested in G.fast technology to improve connectivity in areas where it has not prioritised fibre

This report presents key aspects of the Austrian telecom and ICT markets, including statistical data on the country, the fixed network services sector and telecom infrastructure. It presents an overview of recent regulatory developments affecting broadband access and mobile spectrum. The report also includes a range of subscriber forecasts to 2024.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • A1 launches 5G services branded as ‘5Giganetwork’;
  • Regulator making progress with 3.4-3.6GHz auction for 5G services;
  • 3 Austria sets up Innovation Lab for 5G, launches commercial 5G services;
  • MVNOs secure 6.5% market share of subscribers;
  • 700MHz spectrum assigned for 5G use;
  • Telekom Austria trials XG-Fast technology providing data at over 11Gb/s, prepares to expand fibre infrastructure to an additional 300,000 premises;
  • Government pledges €1 billion to upgrade national broadband availability;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to Q3 2019, telcos' financial and operating data to Q4 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telekom Austria (A1), Tele2, tele.ring, Magenta Telekom (UPC Austria, T-Mobile Austria), 3 Austria, Orange Austria, Mundio, Lycamobile, Yesss!, M:Tel Austria, Hofer Telekom, Xlink.

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