3 Austria prepares for LTE launch in 2011

Having seen its rival T-Mobile conduct large-scale LTE trials, 3 Austria has gone one better by announcing that it will deploy the next-gen wireless technology throughout its network starting in 2011. This move makes 3 Austria one of the first European countries to confirm a nationwide roll-out of LTE.

The company said that it wanted to improve the mobile broadband service it already offers--HSPA+ at up to 21Mbps, soon to be upgraded to 42Mbps--by switching on LTE in around 18 months time. 3 Austria, which currently provides HSPA+ coverage to nearly 95 per cent of the population, said its LTE service would enable subscribers to use download speeds of more than 100Mbps.

The equipment supplier has been confirmed as Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), which has also been contracted to significantly upgrade 3 Austria's backhaul network.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has asked the Austrian government to consider the distribution of 2.6GHz frequencies for LTE-based services so it can prepare to introduce the technology on a commercial basis. However, while the company said a service might become available by the end of 2010, no details were provided of anticipated performance or coverage.

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