20 MHz LTE Band 20 Network in Austria

In most countries in Europe I have visited recently, network operators are now making good use of LTE band 20 in the 800 MHz part of the spectrum to cover rural areas. Usually, three network operators have each been successful in getting a 10 MHz chunk of the 30 MHz channel. In Austria, it's different however, as I recently found out while having a closer look at the networks around me.

Instead of three network operators, only two network operators have acquired spectrum in this band, T-Mobile Austria and A1 (Telekom Austria). The later one has quite a big chunk, 20 MHz! That's the first country I've seen in which a 20 MHz carrier is deployed in the 800 MHz band. A huge advantage for rural high speed Internet connectivity! For details see here.

While I traveled by train, however, all my devices mostly stayed on 3G, probably due to the heavily insulating windows. Also, none of my devices were able to acquire a GPS fix even when held directly at a window. As 3G got in just fine there might have been repeaters on the train but not for 800 MHz. At least there was free Wi-Fi on board which worked quite well on the cross country trip. But that's little consolation as Wi-Fi tends to saturate over time. Also, everybody being able to snoop on my data traffic is  not quite my cup of tea either. I hope there are plans to upgrade the repeaters and let the professionals outside handle the traffic.