T-Mobile Austria launches 5G network with 25 base stations

T-Mobile Austria says the conclusion of the 5G spectrum auction in Austria in early March and the licenses it purchased gave it what it needs to deploy 5G throughout the country. And the company activated its first 5G base stations in Austria on Tuesday.

The 25 initial 5G base stations are located primarily in rural regions. And the company has plans to add more 5G base stations as part of its mobile network over the course of the further build-out.

"With investments of €57 million in 5G spectrum, T-Mobile is sending a clear signal for Austria's digital future,” said Andreas Bierwirth, CEO of T-Mobile Austria, in a prepared statement.

The company says the 5G mobile broadband service will give customers fiber-optic speeds over 5G. And this is especially impressive in rural regions where the deployment of fiber would be too expensive.

“T-Mobile will be investing around €1 billion in total between 2018 and 2021 to guarantee that Austria has a powerful broadband infrastructure, both mobile and landline," added Bierwirth. "We are thrilled that Austria will serve as a 5G pioneer country for Deutsche Telekom.”

RELATED: Deutsche Telekom finally reveals details of its fixed network upgrades

As part of its 5G roadmap, T-Mobile Austria plans to deploy 5G to the country’s state capitals as early as 2020. It’s planning to deploy 5G along main transportation routes by 2023. And it’s ultimate goal is to deliver comprehensive 5G in the country by 2025. In the coming months, T-Mobile Austria will document its experiences with the first 5G locations and incorporate them in its plans for the future. 

T-Mobile Austria will give special 5G routers to its first so-called "friendly customers." And it expects to enable the first 5G smartphones on its network by the end of 2019. A greater variety of 5G-enabled smartphones and devices will likely hit the Austrian market in 2020.