On 24th March the European Commission submitted a comprehensive report on the European telecommunication market including a country-specific analysis. On presenting the report, the EU Commissioner for Telecommunication Viviane Reding praised the competition as a “universal remedy” for more growth, investments and customer satisfaction.
The 360 page strong report makes clear that in spite of the economic crisis the telecommunication sector is and remains a strongly expanding market. In 2008, the revenues of the EU telecommunication sector rose to € 300 billion; this is equivalent to an increase of 1.3 % in the previous year. The strongest growing segment of the telecommunication market is mobile telephony. In 2008, about 7 % more people in Europe used mobile telephony than in 2007. The number of mobile phone contracts in 2008 was on average 119 % of the EU population. At 122 % of the population, the penetration rate for mobile telephony in Austria is just above the EU average. Austria also saw a positive development of the costs for mobile telephony. Within only one year, the average mobile phone bills in Austria fell from € 16.36 (2007) to € 7.31 (2008). Hence, Austria has the third lowest mobile phone bills in the EU.

Apart from that, Austria has the highest mobile broadband use via data card in the EU. 11.4 % of the Austrian population has such access, whereby the EU average only lies at 2.8 % of the population. Commissioner Reding attributes the positive developments in the telecommunication market to increased competition. Apparently, however, “more competition” does not necessarily result in more customer satisfaction. In 2008, the complaints with regard to service and billing in telecommunication in Austria increased by 30 %. The majority of the complaints referred to high charges for data roaming or the transfer rates resp. the billing for mobile broadband.

Further information:

Press release from the Commission

Communication of the Commission on the progress of the single European electronic communication market

Commission Staff Working Document I
Commission Staff Working Document II

Country-specific chapter Austria