Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/06/2014 -- Austria has started to show signs of saturation in the first nine months of 2013, reporting net losses each quarter, for a total of 256,000 subscribers. This is unsurprising given the penetration rate of 155%, as of September 2013. In addition to operators purging their subscriber bases of inactive SIM cards, a weaker domestic economy is weighing on consumer spending, making low-cost no-frills services more appealing. 2014 is likely to see the MVNO market heat up as a result of these trends and ultra-low wholesale prices being offered by Drei. International MVNO Lycamobile had already soft-launched with the intention of exploiting this opportunity. The entrance of MVNOs, combined with new mobile termination rates imposed by the regulator and lower consumer spending, means we expect lower ARPU rates in 2014, and this may negatively impact operators. The major mobile carriers will hope that LTE plans mitigates this trend somewhat, however, with only 10,000 4G subscribers in the market in Q213, growth will need to pick up quickly.
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