The National Communications Authority of Hungary (NHH) has announced that it has received a higher than expected number of applications for its tenders to increase competition in the mobile market and to increase broadband internet coverage via WiMAX technology. By the deadline, a total of four bids had been received for bundle ‘A’, which allows a fourth GSM/UMTS service provider to enter the market, exceeding expectations. The tenders were submitted by Digi, Dream Com Tavkozlesi, Invitel Tavkozlesi and Mobinet Tavkozlesi Projekt.
Two firms submitted applications for the so-called bundle ‘B’ allocation (450MHz), namely Digi and Mobil Wireless Broadband Hungary. The regulator says that if either of these tenders prove to be successful, the winner will be allowed to deploy wireless broadband coverage to sparsely populated areas and municipalities. Under the terms of the tender conditions, incumbent mobile operators, enterprises belonging to the same company group, companies directly or indirectly owned by the Hungarian state and service providers with spectrum usage rights for the 3.5GHz frequency were barred from bidding for bundle ‘B’.
The NHH also opened up the 26GHz frequency band (bundle ‘C’), allocating five frequency blocks in all. In a press release the watchdog stressed that the 26GHz band is considered crucial ‘in the development of the internal infrastructure of future winners, and could contribute to the significant increase of wireless broadband coverage in Hungary.’ Bundle ‘C’ will be awarded to a consortium – one member of which must have also won the tender for bundle ‘A’. Invitel Tavkozlesi and Vodafone Magyarorszag were the applicants to submit a joint bid on Friday for bundle ‘C’. In addition, at the end of November 2008 two 26GHz frequency bundles (‘D’ and ‘E’) were also made available for bidding. Bundle ‘D’, for which there are no specific restrictions on bidders, received one application from Magyar Telekom. Meanwhile, bundle ‘E’ was open for bidding to all companies except incumbent mobile service providers, and by the deadline had received interest from Antenna Hungaria and GTS Datanet Tavkozlesi, the NHH said. The regulator has also reserved 26GHz frequency bundles (classed ‘F’ and ‘G’) for the bidders of bundles ‘A’ and ‘B’ – that is, for each of the future winners of the bundles. Invitel Tavkozlesi, Mobil Wireless Broadband Hungary and Mobinet Tavkozlesi Projekt all entered bids for both bundle ‘F’ and bundle ‘G’.
In the case of successful bids, winners of bundles ‘A’ and ‘B’ will be granted frequency usage rights for 15 years, and winners of bundles ‘C-G’ will enjoy such rights for a period of ten years. More details on the award process can be found on the regulator’s website at: