A1 and Si.mobil to Start Next Stage of LTE Network Rollout with Carrier Aggregation

Vienna, 25 November 2014
  • Telekom Austria Group's subsidiaries to start rolling out Speed-LTE
  • Carrier Aggregation based on existing LTE networks
  • Infrastructure is a major differentiator for Telekom Austria Group
  • Duplication in available bandwidths increases user data rates for customers

Telekom Austria Group's subsidiaries A1 in Austria and Si.mobil in Slovenia are the first operators within the Group to enable their customers higher transmission speeds and higher bandwidths in selected locations. This will be possible thanks to the new LTE-Advanced technology known as Carrier Aggregation, based on the rolled out LTE networks in Austria and Slovenia.

Speed-LTE in Austria and Slovenia
Both subsidiaries have announced that they will start offering their customers LTE Carrier Aggregation in selected locations straight away. Based on this further development of the LTE technology, customers equipped with corresponding end-devices will benefit from average transmission rates that are twice the speed.

Against the backdrop of rising mobile data traffic and Internet-enabled devices, Internet consumption and broadband demand are also increasing. Network operators are taking this development into account by driving the development of the necessary network technologies forward with a view to offering their customers higher data rates and lower runtimes.

New Equipment for Existing LTE Networks
"Network rollout is in full swing and with LTE Carrier Aggregation A1 and Si.mobil offer a further milestone by bringing this future-proof technology to our customers," said Günther Ottendorfer, CTO Telekom Austria Group.

Jointly with Ericsson, A1 has presented LTE Carrier Aggregation for the first time in the world based on two 20 MHz frequency blocks from the 800 and 2600 MHz frequency bands auctioned in autumn 2013. In Austria, the Styrian provincial capital Graz will take the lead as it has already started upgrading currently existing mobile base stations in particularly highly frequented areas.

In Slovenia, selected locations across six cities are going to be covered with LTE Carrier Aggregation with immediate effect. The Slovenian subsidiary Si.mobil has devoted concerted efforts to driving the rollout of its LTE network forward and expects total population coverage of 75% by year-end 2014. Customer needs and requirements play a decisive role for the further development of the network infrastructure. Network rollout started in Ljubljana and Maribor as well as in four additional areas and will be continuously extended to further locations.

"With LTE Carrier Aggregation we are taking an important step to provide our customers higher transmission rates and expand current capacities, allowing even more customers to experience the new LTE speeds. I'm particularly delighted that the LTE development in the Austrian and the Slovenian network represents a perfect example of how knowledge transfer and the exchange of experiences within the Group can function and how single subsidiaries can reap considerable benefits from Group synergies and technological know-how transfer", added Günther Ottendorfer.

Infrastructure Leadership as a Decisive Selection Criterion for Customers
The Telekom Austria Group views an outstanding telecommunications infrastructure as an important differentiation factor. The Group's mobile network reaches a total of 40 million inhabitants across its operating footprint and LTE services are offered in four of the Group's eight operating markets. Following the acquisition of the necessary frequency spectrum, the focus of network rollout has been placed on LTE. To date, A1's network has reached total population coverage of over 52% in Austria, Si.mobil's network of over 68% in Slovenia, Vip operator's network of more than 40% in the Republic of Macedonia and Vipnet's network of roughly 23% in Croatia. The company's outstanding network quality has been repeatedly confirmed at the international level and most recently by the Futurezone network test in September 2014, which rated A1's network as the best ever mobile network in Austria.

About LTE
The LTE network architecture includes numerous development levels depending on the particular use of corresponding frequency blocks, bandwidths and end-devices.

On the way to 5G there are several stages of expansion within the LTE technology.

With LTE-Advanced, essential features are the different frequency bands which can be combined together to create Carrier Aggregation). This technology speeds up users' web browsing, the streaming of videos and music clips as well as the downloading of data.

Carrier Aggregation is a mobile communication technique, which increases user data rates by assigning multiple carriers, frequency blocks, to one user. The maximum increase in data rates per user depends on the total number of aggregated frequency blocks.

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