REFILE-Hutchison keeps rock-bottom tariff after Orange Austria buy

Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:51am EDT

(Corrects dateline from LONDON)

VIENNA Aug 19 (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa's Austrian telecoms unit will continue to offer a rock-bottom mobile tariff after the integration of Orange Austria, which it bought in January.

Presenting its new look following the 1.3 billion euro ($1.7 billion) acquisition, which investors had hoped would support price rises by reducing competition, Hutchison Drei Austria said it would keep the 7.50 euros-a-month packages until further notice.

The company, which has said it wants to raise its market share to 30 percent from a current 24 percent in Europe's most price-competitive market, also said it would offer a bonus payment of 100 euros to any customer signing a new contract.

Drei declined to say how much it was spending on a "massive" marketing campaign with the slogan: "There is an alternative," designed to position the company as different from its bigger rivals Telekom Austria and T-Mobile.

In the dozens of new tariffs presented by Drei on Monday, the most distinctive was the 7.50 euro SIM-only tariff taken over from Orange, the cheapest in Austria, which includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 1 gigabytes of data.

At the top end Drei is offering a 65 euros-a-month package that includes unlimited data with a promise not to throttle speeds, in line with a trend for operators to get consumers to pay for data traffic volumes they had previously given away. ($1=0.7500 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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