Austria’s capital, Vienna, plans to offer subsidies to mobile operators to boost 5G coverage across the city, local newspaper Der Standard reported.
Starting in July, Vienna’s municipal government will subsidize each new station deployed by local carriers A1, Hutchinson Drei and T-Mobile Austria with a total of 27,000 euros ($29,200), representing 5,500 euros per year for five years after commissioning — which accounts for around half of the total installation costs.
Peter Hanke, responsible for finance, economy, digitization and international affairs at Vienna’s municipal government , said that these 5G subsidies will represent a total investment of 20 million euros.
The new sites should be operational between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2022, according to the report.
Vienna will subsidize 240 5G base stations per mobile operator if these 5G sites are set up on an area owned by the city, such as municipal buildings.
A1 managing director Marcus Grausam reportedly said his company already owns and operates 60 5G stations in Vienna. He said that investment incentives are particularly encouraging in view of further expansion.
Drei and t-Mobile operate around 20 stations each in Vienna.
Telekom Austria’s subsidiary A1 had commercially launched its 5G services in January this year. At the time of the launch, the carrier said its 5G network will cover 350 locations across 129 municipalities in Austria.
The company claimed its “A1 5Giganetwork” will be the largest 5G network in Austria, spanning 54,000 square kilometer. A1 had acquired 5G spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band in March 2019.
T-Mobile Austria, owned by German carrier Deutsche Telekom, spent 57 million euros at the Austrian spectrum auction and launched 5G services in March 2019, activating the first 25 5G base stations, primarily in rural regions.
At the time of this launch, T-Mobile Austria had said that it planned to use the experience it gains in these first 5G sites before expanding 5G nationwide.
Rival operator Drei ended last year with approximately 100 5G base stations across the country. Some of the cities in which the telco provides 5G are Linz, Pörtschach, Wörgl, Leoben, as well as in parts of Graz and Vienna.
Drei said that the expansion of the company’s current commercial 5G network will be mainly driven by market demand in the country, the company’s CEO Jan Trionow previously told RCR Wireless News.