The president of the Hungarian telecommunications authority (NHH), Daniel Pataki, yesterday scotched rumours that the country will launch a tender this year for the fourth third-generation (3G) mobile licence, writes CellularNews.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the NHH put five 15-year 3G licences up for sale in September 2004, drawing interest from Pannon, T-Mobile and Vodafone Hungary, as well as from fixed line operator HTCC and fixed line newcomer Tele2, which launched in April 2004. In November 2004 spectrum block A was awarded to T-Mobile Hungary, which agreed to pay HUF17 billion, block B to Vodafone for HUF16.5 billion and block C to Pannon for HUF19 billion, although Vodafone was not officially awarded its concession until December following negotiations with the government about the price. HTCC and Tele2 both entered bids for spectrum block D, but the NHH ruled that neither application was in line with regulatory requirements. The winning bidders paid an initial instalment of HUF5.5 billion in 2004 and under the terms of the concessions were required to roll out 3G services in Budapest by January 2006, and achieve coverage of 30% of the country’s population by the start of 2008. The fourth concession has not been sold.