Fast Market Research recommends "Austria Telecommunications Report Q1 2014" from Business Monitor International, now available
[USPRwire, Tue Jan 14 2014] Austria is home to one of the most developed telecoms markets in Europe, with high penetration of mobile and broadband services. However, Austria's all-important mobile market reported slower than expected growth in 2012 and net losses in 9M13 as the weaker domestic economy weighed on consumer spending and made operators' low-cost no-frills services more appealing than ever. Market saturation also has a role to play in the slowdown of growth and operators must work harder to extract more value from the customers they already have. The postpaid user base contracted slightly as a result and was buoyed only by the higher value service from Hutchison Drei Austria. This leaves some interesting opportunities in the MVNO space, and Tele2 and UPC appear to be ready to move in on the converged services opportunity.
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* After the mobile market registered its first-ever quarter of decline in Q113, there were further net losses in Q213 and Q313. This was mostly due to purging inactive subscribers from user bases following the merger of Hutchison Drei Austria and Orange, as well as Yesss! and A1 Telekom Austria.
* The latest RTR data show LTE subscription growth accelerated in Q213 with the arrival of combined voice and data tariffs. Subscriptions reached 10,220 by the end of June 2013, up from 628 the previous quarter.
* Regulatory data show that the amount of data consumed is rapidly rising. In Q213, this was an increase of 67.3% y-o-y for a total of 26,700Tbps.
Key Trends & Developments
The auction of LTE suitable spectrum was the major development in Austria in the second half of 2013. In late October 2013 Austria's three main mobile operators together paid in excess of EUR2bn for spectrum with Telekom Austria acquiring the largest holding, purchasing 14 packages for around EUR1.03bn, ahead of T-Mobile, which acquired nine packages for approximately EUR654mn. Finally, Hutchison Drei secured five packages for about EUR330mn - but crucially it did not acquire 800MHz spectrum - the band which allows for the most cost effective wireless data network coverage in rural areas. BMI expects the auction of additional spectrum will help catalyse the rollout of services, boosting prospects for subscription growth, and adding to the competitive pressure on wireline broadband providers.
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