Hungary

Information current as of 24 June 2019

What is the state of 5G deployment in Hungary?

On 17 June 2019, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) published the draft details of the auction of the frequencies suitable for wireless broadband services, scheduled for the autumn of this year, for the purpose of supporting the introduction of 5G mobile technology. The NMHH invited comments on the planned sales in the 700 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3600 MHz frequency bands by 8 July. The auction procedure is expected to start in July, after finalising the draft, and is expected to be completed by the end of autumn 2019. The utilisation of frequencies that have been unused or used for other purposes will enable new prospects to be opened before the development of the Hungarian digital economy by employing future technologies.

Key features of the planned auction procedure

Anyone meeting the conditions of participation may bid. The winners will receive the usage rights for 15 years, which may be extended once for an additional five years. NMHH determined the elements of the frequency set of more than 400 MHz on offer, based on the expected market interest and following industry-wide consultation. Considering that the 700 MHz frequency band is currently used for television broadcasting, mobile services may only be provided in this frequency band after the conversion of television broadcasting, i.e. from September 2020.

Total lots available in the auction:

  • two 25 MHz lots in the 700 MHz frequency band (to be used in pair because of the access method).
  • two 15 MHz lots in the 2100 MHz frequency band (to be used in pair because of the access method).
  • 15 MHz in the 2600 MHz frequency band.
  • 310 MHz in the 3600 MHz frequency band.

Through the sale of spectrum parts, the NMHH aims to enable operators to have the frequency required for the operation of 5G networks by the end of 2019 at the latest, and to increase the capacity of their existing mobile networks using the new frequency bands.

Which telcos and communications players are launching 5G services?

It is expected that all the current players of the Hungarian market will participate in the 5G tender-

  • Magyar Telekom
  • Telenor
  • Vodafone
  • Digi.

Are there any public tenders for spectrum licences?

Yes.

What are the conditions?

In general, the NMHH: develops technical and legal rules for the distribution and allocation of frequency bands and the terms of use; publishes the requirements of frequency use, conditions for obtaining usage rights and information related to charges; maintains databases; conducts frequency auctions, issues radio licences and verifies compliance. The authority sells the usage rights to frequencies at auctions. In order to ensure clean and sustainable market competition, anyone meeting the conditions of participation may bid at these auctions. Licences are awarded for 15 years.

What has the government said regarding spectrum licenses for commercial use?

According to the president of the NMHH, the regulator’s main aim is to facilitate the provision of high quality, versatile and innovative 5G services at affordable prices, ensuring that telcos can rely on a secure and predictable regulatory environment.

Are the rules for 5G already drafted, and if so, what do they say?

No. The spectrum usage rules are technology neutral, according to the NMHH’s radio spectrum strategy for 2016-2020. The same applies for electronic communications regulation.

What are or would be the rules for granting competitors access to the new 5G networks, once they are deployed?

As there are no 5G specific regulations yet, and the authority has not indicated that there will be, presumably the general electronic communications regime will apply.