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Incumbent cellcos awarded frequencies in Hungarian auction, paper says

20 Jan 2012

Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet reports that all three of the country’s incumbent mobile operators – Magyar Telekom’s T-Mobile unit, Telenor (formerly Pannon) and Vodafone Hungary – each won blocks of spectrum in the regulator’s auction. The paper stopped short of divulging the source of the story, but claims that the regulator, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), has issued each player with spectrum in the 900MHz band. T-Mobile won a 2MHz block of frequencies with a bid of HUF10.92 billion (USD46.38 million), Vodafone secured a similar amount of spectrum with a bid of HUF15.67 billion and Telenor won 1.8MHz with an offer of HUF7.29 billion, the paper said. The official results of the auction are to be announced by 31 January. The other bidder in the auction is a would-be market entrant – a consortium of the state-owned Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) and a unit of the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB).

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the start of the year the NMHH pre-selected the four above-named groups to bid for the 900MHz spectrum on offer. However, applications from Romania-based cable services provider RCS&RDS and one from the Vietnamese mobile group Viettel were rejected for failing to make the minimum requirements. It is understood RCS&RDS fell short of fulfilling a requirement to meet market regulator fees, while the Vietnam firm’s registration contained ‘several serious formal deficiencies that couldn’t be corrected’, the NMHH said. The watchdog began the auction of 10.8MHz of unused spectrum in the 900MHz band on 5 January. Bidders are capped at a maximum of 7.8MHz of the frequencies on offer.

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