Austrian mobile market in 2012: customers up 4.9%, service revenues down 4.3%

Wednesday 17 April 2013 | 12:35 CET | Background

The number of mobile customers in Austria increased 4.9 percent in 2012 to 13.6 million. A1 was the largest operator with 39.6 percent of customers at year-end, and all the network operators won new customers last year. Mobile services revenues dropped 4.3 percent during 2012 to EUR 2.74 billion, due to intense competition. Below we highlight the most important figures from Telecompaper's database on the Austrian mobile market.

Mobile connections grow 4.9%, 3 Austria wins most

The Austrian mobile network operator market consists of four operators (A1, T-Mobile Austria, Orange Austria and 3 Austria). At the beginning of 2012, 3 Austria announced an agreement to acquire Orange Austria for EUR 1.3 billion. During the year, the transaction received approval from regulatory authorities and was completed in January 2013

In terms of customer numbers (including M2M and MVNO, expect for T-Mobile’s figures), the Austrian mobile market continued to grow, adding more than 630,000 customers or 4.9 percent during 2012 to end the year with a total 13.6 million. A shift from postpaid to prepaid occurred in 2012, with prepaid SIMs growing 6.8 percent compared to a 4 percent increase in postpaid SIMs. This  lead to a slightly lower share of postpaid customers in the total base, of 67.9 percent compared to 68.5 percent at the end of 2011. 

All operators added new customers during 2012. 3 Austria outpaced the market, growing its base by 29.5 percent or 390,000 net additions to end the year with a total 1.71 million customers. It is still the smallest operator with a market share of 12.6 percent. A1 continues to lead the market with a share of 39.6 percent, followed by T-Mobile with 30.2 percent and Orange with 17.7 percent.
As part of the Orange Austria takeover, 3 Austria sold Orange’s discount brand Yesss! with around 750,000 customers to A1, as well as some spectrum and mobile antenna sites. The results of the transaction were not included in its fourth-quarter financials, but are expected to lead to 3 having a market share of around 25 percent in terms of customers.

Figure 1: Austria  mobile connections per MNO (x millions) at year-end and annual service revenues per MNO (in billions of euros). Sources: co‚Äčmpany annual reports, Telecompaper estimates.

Service revenues decrease 4.3 percent in 2012

In 2012 Austrian mobile service revenues decreased to EUR 2.74 billion, down 4.3 percent year-on-year. Both prepaid and postpaid revenues were down more than 4 percent during the year; postpaid still accounted for 90 percent of all revenues in 2012, and prepaid gained only 0.2 percentage points of revenue share. The continued decrease in service revenues was mostly caused by intense competition leading to lower prices. At the same time, data revenues continued to grow, increasing 3.3 percent to 47 percent of all revenues. However, this was not enough to offset the decrease in voice revenues. In terms of service revenue, A1 remained market leader with a 42 percent share, after losing 1.6 percentage points during the year. It was followed by T-Mobile with 28.9 percent, down 1.5 percentage points from 2011. Both Orange and 3 were able to gain service revenue market share, ending 2012 with 18.5 percent and 10.7 percent respectively.

Penetration more than 160 percent, growth to continue

The mobile penetration in Austria already amounts to more than 160 percent of the population, due to the large uptake of mobile data services, leading to many customers having two SIM cards. According to Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR, there were 1.85 million mobile broadband subscribers with a laptop or tablet at the end of the second quarter of 2012, compared to 2.08 million fixed broadband connections. During the preceding quarters fixed broadband connections were stable, while mobile broadband connections were growing by 1-2 percent per quarter, and the regulator expected this trend to continue.

The above figures are based on Telecompaper’s database on the Austrian mobile market, which are available for purchase. For more information, click here.

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