Hungarian telecoms authority issues mobile broadband spectrum

Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telenor, and new entrant Digi Telecommunications each won spectrum in an auction of mobile broadband frequencies in Hungary, the country's telecoms authority revealed today.

The Hungarian National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) said it awarded frequencies to Deutsche Telekom's local business Magyar Telekom, the Hungarian units of Vodafone and Telenor, and Digi for the provision of 4G (LTE) services in the country. The auction raised HUF130.6 billion (€418 million/$530 million) in total, and covers licences spanning a 20 year period, Reuters reported.

Telenor revealed it will pay an upfront fee of HUF31.7 billion and an annual fee of HUF2.5 billion for its spectrum. The operator won a 10MHz block in the 800MHz frequency, a 2MHz block in the 900MHz range, and a 20MHz block in the 2600MHz frequency.

Christopher Laska, CEO of Telenor Hungary, said the company will use its spectrum "to create better opportunities for everyone in the countryside and improve the quality of life through faster internet access."

The Norway-based company said it will invest HUF15-20 billion in rolling out its 4G network over the next three years, as it seeks to cover 96 per cent of Hungary's population within five years. The operator revealed it will complete the rollout of the network in Hungary's capital, Budapest, in the coming months, and will then expand coverage to the country's other major cities.

Magyar Telekom, meanwhile, will pay a total of HUF58.6 billion for spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHZ, 1800MHz, and 2600MHz frequencies. CEO Christopher Mattheisen said the new frequencies will "help accomplish the targets of a Digital Hungary" while also stimulating "investments in the industry" and improving "the country's overall competitiveness."

Vodafone agreed to pay HUF30.2 billion for its frequencies, and Romania-based Digi HUF10 billion, Reuters added.

For more:
- read this Reuters report
- view Telenor's statement
- see Deutsche Telekom's announcement

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