H3G readies Austrian LTE network

Hutchison 3G (H3G) Austria will light its LTE network on Friday, making it the third mobile operator in the country to roll out 4G services.
The LTE network, built by Chinese telecom vendor ZTE, will offer download rates of up to 100Mbps, and will initially be available to 200,000 consumers in Austria’s capital Vienna for €49 per month. The price includes a ZTE MF820 USB modem, unlimited internet access and six free TV channels.
“The LTE network operates on the 2.6GHz frequency band and focus on FDD mode, but we are also cooperating with ZTE to explore the deployment of TDD LTE,” H3G Austria chief Jan Trionow told reporters in Hong Kong today.
H3G Austria aims to extend the coverage of its LTE network to 25% of the population within 18 months, and will expand into rural areas if it successfully acquires extra spectrum in upcoming auctions for the 800MHz, 900 MHz, and 1800 MHz spectrum in 2012, Trionow said.
The operator follows in the footsteps of rivals T-Mobile Austria and A1, which have already launched LTE in the market.
Zhu Jinyun, senior vice president of ZTE, said the firm is providing network management and maintenance services to H3G, in addition to HSPA+/LTE kit. The vendor will also upgrade H3G’s 3G core network to enable it to carry LTE services.
The deal is ZTE’s 28th commercial LTE contract win globally, Zhu said.