T-Mobile Austria has announced that it has inked an agreement with local utilities provider Wien Energie to utilise its city-wide fibre-optic network, branded Blizznet, to connect its Long Term Evolution (LTE) base stations in Vienna. Under the terms of the agreement, T-Mobile’s 130 LTE towers will be connected to the 2,000km Blizznet network, supporting theoretical download speeds of up to 100Mbps across the capital. Dr Rudiger Koester, T-Mobile Austria’s head of engineering and IT, commented: ‘We build for our customers the power of the future. This cooperation with Wien Energie is an important milestone for our new LTE network, which we launched commercially in late July. In the federal capital, by the end of this year alone, 300,000 people [will have access to speeds of] up to 100Mbps’.
In September 2010 T-Mobile paid EUR11.25 million (USD16.23 million) for 2×20MHz spectrum blocks in the 2.6GHz range. The spectrum allowed the operator to launch its long-awaited 4G test network in Innsbruck in October 2010. Further deployments were scheduled for 2011, with T-Mobile launching its Viennese network late last month; other state capitals such as Linz and Graz are in line for full deployment by end-2011. Following the October soft launch, T-Mobile estimated that at least 25% of the Austrian population would be using 4G technology by 2013. In December 2010, T-Mobile contracted Huawei to roll out the remainder of its LTE network, simultaneously upgrading its GSM network. The contract runs until 2016.