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Hungarian Operators Splurge $ 400 Million On 5G

Magyar Telekom, Vodafone Hungary and Telenor Hungary poured HUF128.5 billion ($400 million) into acquiring 5G spectrum licences, following an auction process which completed this week.

The National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH) opened the bidding process on 11 March, with the auction closing yesterday (26 March). Up for grabs were 15-year licences for spectrum in the 700MHz, 2100MHz and 3600MHz bands.

Magyar Telekom acquired two blocks of 10MHz in the 700MHz and 2100MHz bands, with a 120MHz block in the 3600MHz sector. In a statement, the operator revealed its outlay totalled HUF54.2 billion, which it plans to pay during Q2. It is targeting a swift launch of 5G services after receiving its licences.

Vodafone won two 10MHz blocks of 700MHz, 5MHz of 2100MHz and 50MHz in the 3600MHz band. Telenor gained two 5MHz blocks of 700MHz and 140MHz of 3600MHz. The pair are yet to provide details of the sums tendered.

NMHH noted intense rivalry for the 700MHz frequency band, which will become available on 6 September at the earliest.

Operators will have the option to extend access to the spectrum usage rights for five years after the initial period expired, for an additional one-off payment.

Hungary’s regulator encouraged operators to install 5G at locations of social importance, including hospitals, campuses and key transport routes.

In a statement, NMHH claimed Hungary will be among the first countries to take advantage of the next-generation networks, noting the auction opened opportunities for innovations in industry, health, agriculture, transport and logistics.

The authority said the auction was conducted under special circumstances due to the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, with participants offered protective equipment and health monitoring systems in place.

―Mobile World Live

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