Further consolidation in Austrian mobile sector highlights H3’s market commitment
Telecom market overview
Austria’s liberalised telecom market is one of the most competitive in Europe, with numerous operators providing voice and data services, The mobile market has been consolidated in recent years following a number of purchases, most recently that of Orange by H3 Austria. Most of the population uses the internet, and broadband household penetration at 57% is above the EU average, largely the result of effectively competing cable and ADSL platforms. The number of fixed lines continues to fall – about 10% of all new broadband customers opt for internet without fixed-line access. The ICT sector still employs over 100,000 people and contributes about 4.4% to the country’s GDP. Revenue from the telecoms sector has been inconsistent, with a renewed decline seen since 2010, largely due to the continuing tough economic conditions.
The mobile sector (including mobile broadband) has become the largest in terms of revenue, representing about two-thirds of the total, while fixed-line telephony has a only a fifth of the market, fixed-line broadband about 10% and leased lines the remaining 3%. The trend in declining revenue is likely to continue during the next few years as operators adjust to competition and regulatory measure. In the mobile sector some respite is expected in coming years as consumers make greater use of high-end mobile data services.
Fibre broadband market
There remains little significant fibre deployment outside Vienna, though a number of promising regulatory measures will encourage further developments in coming years. Telekom Austria aims to connect 2.3 million homes by the end of 2013, while smaller players such as Infotech Ried and Xlink now operate 1Gb/s networks in a growing number of towns such as Klagenfurt, Villach and Salzburg. The incumbent’s own ‘FiberCities’ network complements its VDSL2 coverage in rural areas using existing fibre backbone and complemented by mobile base stations connected to the fibre network to support its LTE projects.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
|Subscribers by sector (million):|
|Fixed broadband subscribers||2.03||2.15|
|Penetration by sector:|
- The auction of remaining spectrum in the 800, 900 and 1800MHz bands in late 2012 has enabled MNOs to improve their services in rural areas, and expand the availability of LTE networks. These bands complement the existing 2.6GHz allocations which required MNOs to deploy LTE to 25% of the population by the end of 2013.
- Though fibre infrastructure has been slow to gain traction in Austria, considerable improvement is expected in coming years, albeit from only a small number of players.
- All MNOs have advanced plans for LTE roll-outs, with T-Mobile offering services in four cities by early 2012. Both T-Mobile and Telekom Austria are utilising existing FttX infrastructure to provide data backhaul for their LTE networks.
- Despite ASO having been reached nationally, DTTV retains only a small share of the TV market. The satellite TV sector is particularly strong, with about two thirds of digital TV households subscribing to Astra. The regulator has promoted DVB-T2 as a future broadcasting format.
BuddeComm’s annual publication, Austria – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors in one of Central Europe’s key markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data to mid-2012, telcos’ financial and operating data to September 2012 and market developments to early 2013.
For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see:
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