Mobile penetration at 120%: More than 10 million SIM cards in use

Press release dated 15 October 2008

"In the first quarter of 2008, the market penetration of mobile services in Austria reached the 120% mark for the first time, with some 10 million SIM cards in use," announced Georg Serentschy, managing director of RTR's Telecommunications Division, citing figures from the latest issue of the RTR Telecom Monitor. "In recent months, this rapid growth has been driven by the increasing use of SIM cards for mobile broadband services and an increase in the number of UMTS-compatible SIM cards purchased."

According to RTR's survey, approximately 6.94 million GSM and 3.07 million UMTS-compatible SIM cards were in use at the end of March 2008.

Austrian call minutes rise to nearly 5 billion in first quarter

While revenues in the mobile sector have been declining, call minutes have continued to show significant growth. "In the first three months of the year 2008, call minutes exceeded 4.8 billion in Austria, nearly a 22% increase compared to the same period in the previous year," Serentschy added. "This sharp increase in call volumes can be attributed to the pricing policies of mobile operators, which are now offering more flat-rate packages (also for calls to other networks).

The number of text messages (SMS) sent in the first quarter of 2008 also rose sharply, coming to 1.1 billion; at 8.3 million, the number of multimedia messages (MMS) dropped in comparison to the previous year.

Constant rise in number porting

Since the introduction of number porting in 2004, an average of 25,000 numbers have been ported by mobile operators each quarter. In the first quarter of 2008, the cumulative number of numbers ported came to 348,000, or 3.5% of all mobile numbers in use in Austria.

For further information on fixed-link and mobile communications, leased lines and broadband services, please refer to the latest issue of the RTR Telecom Monitor (3/2008) at the following address on the RTR web site (in German):