Ministry seeks USD110m for GSM licences

8 May 2007

Hungary’s Economy Ministry is reportedly asking for HUF10 billion (USD55 million) each from domestic mobile operators Pannon and T-Mobile Hungary to extend the duration of their GSM licences, reports Népszabadság. The pair originally signed 15-year contracts for the concessions in 1993. The licences carry an option for a further 7.5 years, which is set to begin on 4 November 2008, and the Ministry is required to quote a price for their extension at least 18 months before they expire. It is understood that the Ministry is also calling on the mobile operators to invest HUF20 billion to improve broadband internet provision in underserved parts of the country. The extensions should be signed by 4 August, but if no agreement can be reached, the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NHH), will sell the licences at an open auction.