Today, many people regard fast and secure communication networks as a necessity, some even as given. Data-intensive content associated with streaming or entertainment services becomes more and more important in the use of the Internet. In Austria, for instance, 100 GB or more used at home are no longer the exception. Internationally, mobile data communication is currently growing by 45 % annually. Telekom Austria Group meets the growing demand for bandwidth associated with this trend with a massive expansion of its mobile and fixed-line broadband network.
To be able to keep managing the hugely growing data volumes in an efficient way, the Group has relied on convergence in the expansion of its network infrastructure for years. Apart from LTE expansion (Long-Term Evolution) in the mobile communication network, it currently pushes the massive expansion of its fibre optic network. Thus, it can on the one hand supply even remote regions with high bandwidths and on the other hand utilise the capacity and stability advantages of the landline network. In 2015, the Group has invested a total of EUR 780 million (CAPEX) in the broadband expansion as well as in the extension of its network capacities by means of acquiring additional frequencies. Both measures underline Telekom Austria Group's leadership in terms of infrastructure and thus, its leadership in terms of quality.
In 2015, Austrian subsidiary A1 initiated the largest infrastructure programme in the company's history with its accelerated broadband roll-out. The plan is to reach more than 70 % of Austrian households with at least 30 Mbit/s until the end of 2018 (2015: 40 %).
LTE technology (Long-Term Evolution/4G) allows for data transfer in the mobile communication network up to ten times faster than in the conventional UMTS network. In Austria, Telekom Austria Group is already approaching complete LTE-coverage. In
Croatia, Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia and, since 2015, the Republic of Serbia, the accelerated roll-out of the LTE technology is also advancing at full steam. Thus, the group already offers the fourth generation of mobile communication in five out of seven markets.
For the purpose of further extending its network capacity, the Group has acquired new frequencies in Croatia, Belarus and the Republic of Serbia in 2015. In selected metropolitan areas, its subsidiaries in Austria and Slovenia are furthermore implementing another expansion stage of the LTE technology: LTE Carrier Aggregation – an important step towards LTE Advanced (5G). This technology allows data transfer rates of up to 200 Mbit/s.
Spectrum portfolio and usage
Telekom Austria Group is simultaneously working on innovative network technologies to continuously increase the added value for its customers. In the field of Voice over LTE (VoLTE), it is a leading innovator: Whereas the LTE network, for instance, was exclusively used for data transfer until recently and voice traffic was automatically running through the 2G or 3G network, Telekom Austria Group now allows voice transmission via the 4G network infrastructure by means of VoLTE. The customers' benefits lie in crystal-clear call quality and significantly accelerated connection times.
In Austria, VoLTE services are already offered by A1 and this new technology was already tested successfully in Croatia, Slovenia and the Republic of Serbia.