H3A: The First Operator to Commercialize 5G in Austria

Release Date:2019-11-18  Author:By Liu Zheng, Zheng Chen  Click:

Hutchison Drei Austria (H3A) owns the largest LTE network in Austria, covering 98% of the country and accounting for 30% of the mobile market. H3A is the second largest operator in Austria in terms of subscriber base. In the network evaluation over the years, H3A has successively won the best mobile network in the German-speaking area.

To become the first 5G operator in Austria, H3A started the NSA project at the end of 2018, aiming to commercialize 5G in 2019. At the Austrian 5G auction in February 2019, H3A finally obtained 100 M spectrum of the 3.5 GHz band. As the sole supplier of H3A, ZTE provides a series of unique Uni-RAN solutions to help H3A achieve the vision of the first commercial 5G in Austria. 

Unified Telecom Cloud Platform Reduces Operation Costs 

H3A had traditional ICT devices and some network elements, as well as VMWARE and different versions of Open Stack-based virtualized platform. The network O&M was difficult and the cost was high. H3A has adopted ZTE's unified telecom cloud platform based on the NFVI solution to reduce O&M costs and deploy new services in a more efficient and flexible manner. The platform also supports future-proof new service evolution. 

UniSite Solution Guarantees Fast and Efficient 5G Deployment 

As H3A becomes the second largest mobile operator in Austria, its subscriber base and network load are gradually increasing. H3A's network carries more than 65% of total mobile data traffic in Austria. The average mobile traffic per SIM card ranks second in the world. H3A needs to not only increase the capacity of existing 4G sites but also add new 5G devices, which is a great challenge for the current site solution.

H3A employs ZTE's unique UniSite solution to tackle its problem of site deployment. The large-capacity 5G BBU V9200, UBR, and Qcell are used for deployment. While increasing site capacity in both hotspot and blind areas, the UniSite solution also reserves antenna space for 5G commercial use. 

The UBR released by ZTE is the first in the industry to support both 4G and 5G. It also supports smooth upgrade to 5G NR only through software change. Moreover, its power resources can be flexibly configured between 4G and 5G. This can help H3A achieve fast and efficient 5G deployment while protecting its existing investment.

Real Commercial 5G

H3A announced in June 2019 that it had launched a commercial 5G network in Austria, with a total of 20 5G sites implementing continuous 5G coverage in Linz area. This also marks that H3A has become the first operator in Austria to commercialize 5G networks.

H3A CEO Jan Trionow said: "Other vendors are just '5G ready' or have upgraded individual transmission masts across Austria. Today we are launching the first true contiguous 5G network that is worthy of the name. While the others only talk about the future, in Linz it is already a reality today. The race for the 5G leadership in Austria is officially open."

"The next step of H3A is to deploy the 5G network to cover all cities and other areas in Austria. Early 5G deployment like Linz is crucial to assessing 5G networks and technical performance to ensure first-class services and the fastest rate after deploying 5G across Austria," said Jan Trionow. 

To advance the development of Austrian 5G networks, Jan Trionow also said: "We would like to invite companies, institutions and municipalities from all over Austria to cooperate and study with us."

As a pioneer in 5G, ZTE not only helped H3A achieve its first contiguous 5G network in Austria, but also launched a new flagship mobile phone—ZTE Axon 10Pro in Austria, which is the first 5G smartphone in the Austrian market.

Expanding the IoT Market 

Due to its stability, high performance and extremely low latency, 5G has great business prospects in a variety of industries. H3A has chosen ZTE as its exclusive provider of an end-to-end solution that includes chips, modules, wireless access equipment, core network and application platform. The solution provides H3A with NB-IoT services throughout the network.
At the 5G service launch held in June 2019, H3A joined hands with ZTE to showcase innovative services such as VR video, automatic driving, and robot surgery. This fully proved the prospect of 5G in new fields of artificial intelligence, cloud services and HD digital services in the future. 

Since the cooperation with ZTE in 2010, H3A has maintained a rapid growth, ranking first among Hutchison's six branches in Europe. H3A ranked the first in network performance in both the 2015 P3 test and the 2016 chip test. In the industry satisfaction survey conducted by a third-party organization in Austria in 2019, H3A won two firsts in customer satisfaction, i.e., the first among network service providers and the first of wireless mobile networks. Recently, H3A again won the first place in the 2019 network quality assessment in the German-speaking area organized by TUTELA, Canada. With the help of sincere cooperation with ZTE, H3A will gain more social recognition and higher customer satisfaction in the 5G era.


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