RTR GmbH publishes survey on demand pattern in the broadband market

Press release dated 8 May 2009

Lots of speculations on the broadband market situation have been going on in Austria over the last few months. “Having completed our second analysis (after 2006) on demand patterns in the broadband market, we should like to make use of the opportunity to present up-to-date figures promptly. A number of results of the survey we conducted in the first quarter of 2009 on demand patterns in the broadband market are not surprising: on the one hand, growth in the broadband market, both in the private customer as well as in the business customer sector, has been massive over the last two years and on the other hand broadband penetration is high”, Dr. Georg Serentschy, managing director of RTR-GmbH for the telecommunication sector, presents the most recent survey conducted by the regulatory authority. “In early 2009, already 70% of Vienna households are using a broad band connection, the overall Austria average amounts to about 62%.

Broadband internet access experiencing strong increase

In 2009, 45% of households with internet access connect through ADSL, compared with a 35% share in 2006. Access realized through analogue narrow band (ISDN modem) sharply decreased in Austria’s households, the 33% share in 2006 decreased to about 6% in 2009.  Opposed to that, the share of mobile broadband access grew from 5% to 27% over a three year period. The share of internet access via cable broadband amounts to 29% in 2009. It also turned out that – just as in previous years – product clusters are extremely popular. Already ¾ of households with internet access are using a further product, e.g. fixed-link phone or TV, from the same provider.

When high band width is required, mobile use decreases

There is one thing our survey clearly shows – for download heavy use strongly depending on speed, such as online games, music download or movies, private customers prefer broadband access realized via fixed-link. Also for functions requiring high safety standards, such as online banking. In this case I can see opportunities for the fixed-link connection – mobile broadband internet has no substituting effect in this case. In cases of narrow band applications, as often typical in the private customer sector (e.g. surfing and e-mails) mobile broadband use is replacing fixed-link broadband. Thus, three households in four exclusively use mobile broadband access”, Serentschy underlines. “As opposed to company use, where its use is mostly complementary, for example with regard to band width and speed.

Business use: Internet via fixed-link infrastructure dominates

95% of the companies interviewed have internet access, of which 93% are broadband and 2% narrow band internet connections.  “While mobile broadband is used slightly more frequently by companies than cable broadband, i.e. by 15.5% of companies, the companies interviewed still use the mobile technology mainly on top of fixed-link broadband. From the point of view of Austrian companies, mobile broadband thus does not constitute any real alternative to internet via fixed-link infrastructure”, according to Serentschy. “In small companies, it is mostly fixed-link infrastructure being used for realizing internet access.”

During the first quarter of 2009, RTR-GmbH interviewed, in the process of a representative survey supported by the Institute for Empiric Social Research (IFES), about 3.000 households and 1.000 businesses regarding application and utilization of broadband. The survey has been published on the RTR-GmbH website under the following link (only available in German):