T-Mobile Austria has confirmed that its 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network has gone live in the city of Innsbruck, just four weeks after the completion of the country’s spectrum auction, which took place between 13 September and 20 September 2010. A total of 14 paired and nine unpaired frequency blocks in the 2.6GHz band were on offer, with bids starting at EUR7.4 million (USD9.7 million). T-Mobile was assigned 2×20MHz blocks in the paired band.
T-Mobile, which commenced 4G trials in Innsbruck in March 2009, has announced that it now offers commercial data services to businesses with LTE-enabled USB modems. Users can access transmission speeds of between 40Mbps and 80Mbps, with the so-called ‘network of the future’ well-suited for mobile video streaming and data uploads. T-Mobile reports that its first 4G customers are MPREIS, Burton Snowboards and Innsbruck Municipal Companies (IKB). The company plans to expand its LTE network to Vienna and the other state capitals, investing up to EUR500 million (USD692.3 million) between now and 2014. T-Mobile estimates that at least 25% of the Austrian population will be using 4G technology by 2013. CEO Robert Chvatal commented: ‘The ‘network of the future’ is now a reality. As the first mobile operator in Austria, we have connected the city of Innsbruck to our 4G network. This is the logical continuation of our involvement with the new 4G mobile technology. We are waiting impatiently for decisions on digital dividend and the technology-neutral use of the existing frequencies in rural areas’.