Hutchison 3G Austria (H3G) CEO Jan Trionow has revealed that the Hutchison Whampoa-owned mobile operator added more than 500,000 new subscribers to its network during the twelve months ended 31 December, claiming that 2012 was the cellco’s most successful year yet. H3G stands to boost its market share even further in 2013, following the approval of its long-running merger with domestic rival Orange Austria.
In related news, with reference to the previously announced agreement to let UPC Austria piggyback on its network as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Trionow noted that the cableco could initiate commercial MVNO services within one year. The MVNO concession formed part of H3G’s strategy to appease European Union (EU) antitrust regulators who were scrutinising the controversial deal with Orange Austria. In October Trionow commented: ‘We believe that our MVNO wholesale rates are among the most attractive available in Europe, and are confident that other players will come forward to take it up. I hope that regulators in Brussels and Vienna will share our view that this is a major contribution to the competitive landscape in Austria’.
Finally, Reuters reports that T-Mobile Austria has filed a formal appeal against the allocation of radio frequencies that will result from Hutchison Whampoa’s takeover of Orange Austria. T-Mobile lodged an appeal with Austria’s higher administrative court on 31 December, protesting against the Telekom Control Commission’s (TKK’s) decision to back the transfer of frequencies that will accompany the EUR1.4 billion (USD1.87 billion) merger.