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Hungary generates €418 million through spectrum auction

Vodafone is set to roll out LTE-A network services

Hungary has raised a total of HUF130.6 billion (€418 million) in a mobile spectrum auction in the 800, 900, 1,800 and 2,600 MHz frequency bands. The auction included the successful allocation of previously unallocated bands.

The National Media and Infocommunications Authority Hungary (NMHH) has sold airwave licenses in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, as well as in the previously unallocated 900MHz and 1.8GHz spectrum.

The four license winners in the auction were Magyar Telekom, Telenor and Vodafone’s Hungarian arms and Romanian Digi Telecommunications.

Magyar Telekom will pay HUF58.65 billion in total for lot A covering two blocks of paired spectrum in the 800MHz band and one lot in the 2.6GHz band (HUF33.2 billion), as well as 2 x 5MHz in the 1,800MHz band (HUF 10.billion and HUF15 billion respectively).

Telenor Hungary acquired lot B for a total of HUF31.7 billion, including two paired blocks in the 800MHz band and one in the 2.6GHz.

Vodafone Hungary will pay HUF27.2 billion for lot C, covering two blocks in the 800MHz band and one unpaired block of 25MHz in the 2.6GHz spectrum. The operator also won a paired lot in the 2.6GHz band for HUF3 billion.

Digi Telecommunications, new entrant in the Hungarian market and owner of RCS & RDS in Romania, got 2 x 5 MHz in the 1,800 MHz band for HUF10 billion.

The allocations were made for 20 years, which the NMHH says will ensure dynamic growth and guarantees sustainable development of the mobile market.

“This is in the fundamental interest of both Hungarian consumers and the national economy as it further enhances the accessibility of data and telecommunications services,” a statement from the NMHH read. “For subscribers, this brings about a predictable service provider environment and new services all over the country. On the other hand, competition for consumers may result in lower service prices.”

While Magyar Telekom, Vodafone and Telenor are able to make use of the newly acquired spectrum bands almost immediately, newcomer Digi Telecommunications will need about 1.5 years to build up its network.

NMHH said with the allocation of unused frequency bands coverage and the standard of mobile services will improve, including LTE. At the moment only Magyar Telekom and Telenor offer 4G in the Hungarian market, and it is currently not very widely used by the country’s mobile subscribers.

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