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Austrian Operators Plot 5G Plans, but Grumble About Newcomers

March 08, 2019 / SDxCentral

Austria’s three established mobile network operators were quick to trumpet their 5G ambitions after each secured 5G-specific spectrum during the country’s recent auction process. However, that process also introduced new players into the space, much to the consternation of those incumbent operators. The most vocal was Hutchison Drei Austria, which complained that the Austrian mobile market will be more competitive. A1 Telekom Austria and T-Mobile Austria are the other two incumbent operators. Four new organizations secured spectrum licenses in the auction, including MASS Response, LIWEST, Salzburg AG, and Holding Graz. Hutchison Drei is particularly sensitive to the idea of new competitors in 5G as it successfully reduced the number of operators in Austria from four to three when it acquired Orange Austria in 2013. That deal concluded just before the European Commission clamped down on in-market consolidation of mobile operators.