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Vodafone - Hungary for a bigger slice of the pie

21 Jan 2003

Since launching services as the country’s third mobile operator in late 1999, Vodafone has struggled to make headway in a market dominated by Matáv-owned Westel Mobile and Telenor Mobile-backed Pannon GSM. In just over three years Vodafone has never managed to secure more than 20% of net additions in any given month and by the end of November 2002 languished in last place with 768,948 customers, or just 11.82% of the market, well behind Westel and Pannon GSM with 3,217,610 and 2,518,922 subscribers respectively. Undoubtedly the world’s largest cellco has been hampered by its delayed market entry, but perhaps more importantly has faltered because of the Vodafone Group’s [London: VOD.L] pan-European marketing policy which championed quality and its international services packages at the expense of competitive local pricing. Although a quick exit from the Hungarian market would appear unlikely, speculation is mounting that Vodafone could look to launch an audacious bid for one of the rival players although, to date, such rumours have been vociferously dismissed by both companies.

Yearbook of Eastern European Telecommunications 2003

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