T-Mobile could withdraw from Austria

31 October 2012 | Kavit Majithia


T-Mobile Austria has threatened to reduce investment or even withdraw from the country if it is restricted from obtaining frequencies for 4G LTE.

According to local media reports, the company’s CEO Andreas Bierwirth is concerned with what effect the impending merger between France Telecom SA’s Orange and Hutchison’s H3G will have on the market if they got LTE spectrum.

Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile Austria is the second largest player in the country behind Telekom Austria.

If the frequencies were awarded, market watchers say H3G and Telekom Austria’s A1 would have an advantage of owning frequencies for at least two years.

Bierwirth did not rule out an exit of Austria entirely, and he did say if such a situation arose the company would be forced to scale back its investments.

The planned €1.3 billion deal for H3G to acquire Orange Austria is still under regulatory review, and the European Commission is set to decide the case by December 21 2012.