Mobile operator Connect Austria has selected Ericsson as the sole supplier for its UMTS radio access network in a deal valued at approximately USD200 million. The agreement will see Ericsson deliver and install radio base stations and supplementary equipment into Connect’s nationwide WCDMA infrastructure to enable the operator to begin offering services based on the high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) protocol in the near future. Connect’s network currently affords maximum data transmission speeds of 384kbps.
The third-largest of Austria’s six mobile operators, Connect Austria offers services under the brand name ONE. At the end of 2003 it claimed 1.404 million customers, up marginally from 1.37 million six months earlier. It won its 3G licence in 2000, bidding EUR120 million for two paired 2×5MHz frequency blocks, and awarded initial network supply contracts to Nokia and Siemens four months later. Connect Austria is owned by E.ON (50.1%), Telenor (17.45%), Orange (17.45%) and TDC (15%).