The conclusion of the 5G spectrum auction in early March 2019 and the purchased licenses gave T-Mobile Austria what it needs to deploy 5G, the next-generation communication standard, throughout Austria.
Based on this spectrum, T-Mobile Austria activated the first w5G base stations in all of Austria on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, primarily in rural regions. Additional 5G stations will be integrated in the mobile network over the course of the further build-out.
Austria’s 5G pioneers are the municipalities of Feichtendorf (Carinthia), Hochstrass (Lower Austria), Hohenau an der March (Lower Austria), Innsbruck (Tyrol), Kaindorf an der Sulm (Styria), Kalsdorf bei Graz (Styria), Kapfenberg (Styria), Kirchbichl (Tyrol), Loosdorf (Lower Austria), Oberhofen am Irrsee (Upper Austria), Pirka (Styria), Ried im Innkreis (Upper Austria), Seefeld in Tirol (Tyrol), Serfaus (Tyrol), St. Johann in Tirol (Tyrol), Villach (Carinthia), and Wartberg im Mürztal (Styria).
“With investments of 57 million euros in w5G spectrum, T-Mobile is sending a clear signal for Austria’s digital future. This March 26, 2019 is a historic day for our company. We are launching the first 5G network in Austria and offering our first customers mobile broadband with fiber-optic speeds over 5G,” said Andreas Bierwirth, CEO of T-Mobile Austria, on launching the 5G network in Austria. “With 5G, mobile broadband coverage will keep up with fiber-optic network performance going forward, supplying regions where the laying of cables would be complex, slow, and expensive. Instead of connecting households to the internet through wires, 5G will ensure that broadband internet reaches homes through radio transmission. T-Mobile will be investing around a billion euros in total between 2018 and 2021 to guarantee that Austria has a powerful broadband infrastructure, both mobile and landline.”
“We are thrilled that Austria will serve as a 5G pioneer country for Deutsche Telekom. Despite the difficult topography, Austria is a pioneer when it comes to rolling out new technologies. We are the only European provider that’s investing in the build-out of 5G mobile and fixed-network in Austria,” declared Srini Gopalan, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management during the go-live of the 5G network in Austria.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated: “Today Austria is taking on a pioneering role in the 5G rollout. This marks an important milestone for our competitiveness, our technological progress, and the quality of life for all Austrians. I thank the Deutsche Telekom Group for their trust in our country.”
“The opportunities that 5G will open up for people will completely change their lives. I am confident that the state capitals will get 5G network coverage as early as 2020. We want to complete this step by 2023 along the main transportation routes – and we are setting our sights on 2025 for comprehensive 5G,” said Norbert Hofer, Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation, and Technology.
“Austria is one of the first countries to roll out this new wireless standard. This is important to be a front-runner in digitalization. New technology always attracts additional added value and innovation. It is an important signal for our startups in particular. We’ve benefited from our pioneering role in rolling out the 3G standard and we intend to be at the forefront in w5G as well, and not left at the sidelines,” said Margarete Schramböck, Minister of Digital and Economic Affairs.
Future 5G build-out in Austria
In the coming months, T-Mobile Austria will document its experiences with the first 5G locations and incorporate them in its plans for the future, Austria-wide build-out. T-Mobile Austria will give special w5G routers to the first “friendly customers”. The first 5G smartphones are expected by the end of 2019. A greater variety of models and larger numbers of w5G-enabled smartphones and wtablet PCs will likely hit the market in 2020.
T-Mobile Austria is relying on network diversity in its build-out strategy. In rural regions, 5G and LTE will bring fast internet even to Austria’s most remote valleys. In suburban areas, hybrid and DSL will be added to provide fast internet. In cities, broadband internet will be provided by the fiber-optic network and other technologies.