In 2016, competition in Austria continued to be driven by mobile no-frills offers. In addition, mobile WiFi routers with unlimited data offers are becoming an increasingly relevant element of the Austrian broadband market. A1 Telekom Austria Aktiengesellschaft counters these challenges, on the one hand, with its successful multi-brand strategy that allows it to address price pressure via its no-frills brands bob and YESSS!. On the other hand, A1 introduced a hybrid modem in July 2016 which combines the fixed-line and the mobile network and thereby enables A1 to offer higher fixed-line bandwidth products. Convenient unlimited mobile broadband offers complete A1’s data-centric highvalue proposition.
In the year under review, the number of wireless subscribers in the Austrian segment rose by 2.9% year-on-year, due to the growth in the number of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) SIM cards. However, the customer base remained almost stable excluding M2M, with growth in the highvalue segment offsetting most of the decline in the number of no-frills customers. The number of mobile broadband customers rose due to a change in the counting methodology. The market share in mobile communications declined slightly to 39.4% in the year under review (2015: 39.5%). In the fixed-line business, the number of revenue generating units (RGU) decreased by 1.1% year-on-year in 2016. Fixed broadband RGU growth slowed over the course of the year to 1.5% year-on-year, while TV RGUs again increased by 5.5% to 284,400 customers in the same period. Additionally, speed upgrades and hybrid routers exhibited strong growth. These developments were contrasted by another decline in fixed-line voice minutes by 10.4% (2015: -10.0%).
In 2016, total revenues in the Austrian segment declined slightly by 0.3% year-on-year. Excluding the aforementioned positive one-off effects from 2015 in the amount of EUR 10.5 mn, total revenues remained stable (+0.1%). These positive effects were reflected in fixed-line and other revenues. The stable revenues were driven by higher interconnection revenues and revenues from handset sales, which compensated the reduction in service revenues.
In the mobile business, the decrease in wireless service revenues compared with the previous year was almost exclusively due to the stepwise abolition of retail roaming in the EU as of 30 April 2016. Excluding these negative effects, wireless service revenues rose as losses in the low-value customer segment were more than offset by higher fixed fees, which mainly resulted from subscriber growth in higher-value customer segments as well as tariff indexations. Equipment revenues rose due to the volume growth resulting from increased handset subsidies. In the fixed-line business, higher revenues from broadband and TV as well as the support from speed upgrades and hybrid routers partly offset the decline in voice revenues. Together with increasing interconnection revenues due to a changed settlement logic as well as higher quantities, this resulted in a slight increase in fixed-line service revenues.
Average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) declined from EUR 15.6 to EUR 14.7 in the year under review; this was attributable primarily to negative roaming effects and a higher proportion of M2M SIM cards. Excluding the negative roaming effects, ARPU remained almost stable (-0.2% year-on-year). Given the further decline in the fixed-line voice business, which was only partially mitigated by higher revenues from broadband and A1 TV, average monthly revenue per fixed-line (ARPL) declined to EUR 28.0 in the year under review (2015: EUR 28.4).