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Issue 17 Articles

Telekom Austria Group Focuses on Quality Wholesale Services for Eastern Europe

Bernhard Mayr, Wholesale Chief, Telekom Austria Group
Bernhard Mayr, Wholesale Chief, Telekom Austria Group

Bernhard Mayr: In the region we want to be best in class, a niche player in the global telecoms ecosystem

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The Telekom Austria Group has positioned itself to be a key regional player in Central and Eastern Europe, delivering services to other operators and content providers to end users in the region as well as in neighbouring countries, says Wholesale Chief Bernhard Mayr.

The Telekom Austria Group is using its position as a company that owns not only the incumbent operator in Austria but also a series of significant operations across Eastern Europe as well as an infrastructure that reaches into the Middle East and North Africa to offer comprehensive wholesale services to other operators.

The Group has its own direct interconnections, as well as its own network infrastructure and points of presence in many more places across the region. “We see ourselves as one of the main access providers for fixed and mobile operators,” says Bernhard Mayr, Head of Group Wholesale Operations at Telekom Austria Group. The company also works with over-the-top players such as Google and other content providers which need to access customers across the region.

The Group promises advanced services to its own business and consumer customers and to its wholesale partners. It has been investing heavily in transforming its voice network from TDM technology to the next generation network architecture, based on internet protocol.

That’s happening, notes Mayr, both on the fixed network side and — with the advent of 4G mobile technology — on the wireless side too.

“We’re seeing the introduction of both 4G wireless and fixed technology in the form of hybrid fibrecopper in the last mile of our network. That’s a process we are undergoing in Austria with the fixed-line network, where we have hotspots under construction where we roll out this new technology.”

In some of the Group’s business outside its Austrian homeland variations of that process are taking place. In Bulgaria, for example, the company acquired two glass fibre operators in September 2010 so that it could advance its convergence strategy.


In August 2011 the company completed another takeover, of the largest Croatian cable company,, with a the aim to continue the fixed/mobile convergence strategy. That all means that the wholesale business can deliver advanced convergent services to other companies — operators as well as content providers — which need to reach customers in Eastern Europe. “We are working towards convergent solutions in all our areas of operation,” says Mayr. “It is the strategy of our Board to bring these to all operating countries.”

Convergence of networks is offering a series of new opportunities from the possibility of a complete portfolio, involving media, telecoms and IT services. At the same time the Group is investing heavily in its own core European network, transforming it to cater for the new technologies. This network, JetStream, “reaches right to the borders of Europe” says Mayr. And beyond, he adds: “We have plans to expand it to Turkey”, which is both European and Asian. But the company’s influence expands beyond the JetStream network, he notes. “In the region we want to retain our best in class market perception by strengthening our position in the global telecoms ecosystem”.

“We want to be defined as a major access provider in the region as a player, who is using MPLS to manage the end-to-end quality and provisioning of services, mainly for business-to-business services” — a feature that gives the customers of Mayr’s wholesale business control of their own customers’ experience.

The company’s network also includes a teleport in Austria which is a key link for broadcasting services to and from remote markets, and for others needing critical infrastructure into the region that is independent of local infrastructure — something that has had a vital role over the past few months. “We see Telekom Austria Group as one of the key enablers for the new services in the Balkan region. This is a regional project to be able to provide new services to customers,” he concludes.

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