Mobilkom Austria has announced plans to roll out its 3G network to cover 95% of the country by summer 2005, utilising a combination of UMTS and EDGE technologies referred to as UMTS PLUS. Mobilkom’s 3G footprint currently covers 60% of the population; by deploying EDGE to complement its UMTS expansion the company aims to negate the need for further transmission stations in some rural areas. The first handset based around the UMTS PLUS standard is already available.
Mobilkom, a subsidiary of former fixed line monopoly Telekom Austria, acquired its 3G licence in November 2000 and launched the technology on a commercial basis in April 2003. At the end of September 2004 it was the country’s third placed 3G provider with 34,000 subscribers.