Hutchison Whampoa, already present in the Austrian mobile market via Three Austria (Drei), is targeting the low-cost segment via its recently acquired niche brand, Eety.
Eety has existed since 2006 and previously focused on international phone tariffs. Under Hutchison ownership since early this year, the company is now entering the domestic market as an independent entity, selling cheap mobile voice and data plans using the Three Austria network.
Eety manager, Melanie Weber, said this week that the company had been a niche player for years, but now intends to conquer the whole market as a low-cost service provider with a new dialling code, new sales channels and new tariffs.
The company starts selling its tariffs as of today (Friday), initially using over 200 branches of low-cost supermarket chain Lidl, 200 specialist stores and an online store under www.eety.at as its distribution network. For example, the new no-commitment Eety TOP tariff costs €9.90 ($10.70) a month and includes 3 GB of data, 1,000 voice calls and 500 texts.
Citing internal market research, Eety said the low-cost market has enormous potential, with more than 30 per cent of mobile subscribers saying they would be prepared to change their mobile operator.
"Austria's mobile customers are particularly price conscious," noted Weber in a press release emailed to FierceWireless:Europe.
Indeed, the Austrian mobile market has always been one of the most competitive in Europe, but saw prices creep up following Three Austria's acquisition of Orange Austria in 2013.
The move certainly represents a new challenge for Austria's existing mobile operators, including Telekom Austria and T-Mobile Austria. Weber told Reuters that the objective is to increase Three Austria's subscribers from its 60,000-strong customer base. The company is targeting a 30 per cent market share, up from its current share of 27.6 per cent.
- see this Reuters article
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