Communications in Austria

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This article concerns the systems of telecommunication in Austria. Austria has a highly developed and efficient telephone network, and has a number of radio and television broadcast stations. The country code for Austria is "AT", the ccTLD is ".at".


Telephone and Internet

As of 2004, Austria possesses around four million main telephone lines, of which 3.6 million are analogue main lines, with a further 400 000 Integrated Services Digital Network connections. Additionally, there are 300 000 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines. In terms of mobile telecom, in 2005, there were 8,153,900 mobile telephones in use. There are 37 internet service providers in Austria, serving 3.7 million internet users.

The telephone system is well developed and efficient and domestically, there are 48 main lines to every 100 people. Fibre-optic coverage is extensive and a full range of telephone and internet services are available via the network. In terms of international communications, Austria has 2 Intelsat satellite earth stations (one Atlantic Ocean and one Indian Ocean), and one Eutelsat satellite earth station. Additionally, there are around 600 very small aperture terminals, as of 2002.

Mobile Phone Networks

The Austrian mobile phone market is highly competitive, with some of the cheapest rates in Europe. Due to the geographical structures of Austria (Mountains, Flat lands, Lakes) many providers use it as a "Testing Range" for new services.

First Generation Networks
D-Netz by Austrian Telekom. This network was switched off at the end of the 1990s.

Second Generation Networks
There are three nationwide GSM networks which also support additional brands and MVNOs.

  • A1: originally mobilkom. It now runs a mixed GSM-900, GSM-1800 and UMTS network. Also provides service for MVNO's bob, B-free (owned by A1), and Red Bull Mobile.
  • t-mobile: originally max mobil. It now runs a mixed GSM-900, GSM-1800 and UMTS network. Also marketed as telering as a separate brand.
  • Orange: originally One (until September 2008). A mixed GSM-1800 and UMTS network. Also provides service for the MVNO known as Yess!

Third Generation Networks

  • Drei (3): Owned by Hutchinson Whampoa, a Hong Kong based company and runs its own UMTS network.

Mobile number portability has been introduced 2008, allowing users to retain their mobile phone numbers when switching between network operators. The original area codes allocated to each operator can no longer be used to determine which network a subscriber is registered with.

Broadband Internet access

Internet in Austria is typically received over DSL and cable. However, mobile services employing UMTS/HSDPA are rapidly gaining ground due to fierce market competition. SDSL and mobile phone access is also available.

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