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Hungary to sell new frequency licences in 2010

25 августа 2010

Hungary will this year hold tenders for mobile broadband and Internet service licenses on the 450 megahertz and available 900 MHz frequencies, which may see a new provider enter the market, government officials said Tuesday.

In addition, frequency fees that providers pay on their existing licenses are expected to be revised, according to officials at the national media and communication authority, or NMHH. The revision won't result in fees being raised, however. The new license fees would come into force next year.

The government expects to generate 20 billion forints ($88.5 million) in concession revenue from the tenders, which it has included in its 2010 budget.

The tenders will be aimed at "ensuring the efficient use of the spectrum, boosting investment and the spread of broadband Internet," Gabor Kollath, an NMHH director, said at a public hearing about the authority's plans.

The fees the government plans to collect from the new frequencies should be technology-neutral and easy to calculate, Kollath added.

The offer of the available 900 MHz frequencies provides the opportunity for the entry of a new market participant, the officials said.

Hungary has three mobile providers at present: market leader Magyar Telekom Nyrt., which is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom AG; Telenor Magyarorszag Zrt., which is 100% owned by Norway's Telenor ASA; and Vodafone Hungary Zrt., owned by U.K. mobile operator Vodafone Group PLC.

Representative of the providers were also present at the hearing, and raised several issues about the authority's plans.

Magyar Telekom's representatives said the introduction of long-term evolution, or LTE, technology is close, despite the authority's view that it is still some years away. They said the upcoming tenders ought to take this into consideration, and that it would be best to divide the available frequencies among the current market participants.

Telenor Magyarorszag's representative said spectrum symmetry, whereby providers are allocated the same amount of frequencies, ought to be maintained.

Vodafone Hungary noted that Hungary's spectrum fees are twice the European Union average.

Источник: Total Telecom

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