On 23 March 2009, Mobilkom Austria became Europe's first mobile operator to commercially launch HSPA+ (or HSPA evolution) in its mobile network. The new network is capable of providing maximum theoretical downlink speeds of 21 Mbps. Further network enhancements, scheduled for the second half of 2009, are set to increase potential network speeds to 28 Mbps. The HSPA+ service is currently operational in parts of the 10th district of Vienna. Further Austrian roll outs are expected by the end of 2009. The Huawei E270+, an HSPA+ modem, is now available through the operator's online store for 49 Euro.
HSPA+ provides increased data rates, enabling faster internet browsing and file downloads. It therefore gives mobile broadband users greater opportunity to use data intensive applications such as video streaming and online radio. Screen Digest believes that this technological advancement will boost mobile broadband usage as a fixed broadband alternative, as long as mobile data caps are appropriately increased. With over 650,000 mobile broadband subscribers in 2008, Austria is the leading mobile broadband market in Europe with regards to service adoption. In light of the operator's innovative approach to mobile technology, it would come as no surprise to see Mobilkom Austria also pioneer LTE deployment in Europe.