Incumbent cellcos appeal NMHH award of frequencies to mobile start-up

21 Feb 2012

Magyar Telekom (T-Mobile), Telenor Hungary (formerly Pannon) and Vodafone Hungary yesterday filed an appeal against the national telecom regulator’s recent award of mobile frequencies to a would-be new market entrant – a state-backed consortium of power utility MVM, postal services operator Magyar Posta and a unit of Hungary’s development bank MFB. The appeal, which questions the consortium’s right to participate in the auction as well as regulations on domestic roaming services for the new operator, means the start of the newcomer’s network deployment could now be pushed back two months to April. On 31 January this year the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) closed out the tender for 900MHz when it sold a 10.8MHz block of spectrum to the three incumbents as well as to the MVM-led consortium. The newcomer won the ‘A block’, suitable for both internet and voice services, paying HUF10 billion (USD45.4 million), while the other three firms each secured spectrum from parts of the ‘less valuable’ ‘B block’, which is better suited to provide mobile internet access in rural parts of the country. Vodafone reportedly bid HUF15.7 billion, T-Mobile offered HUF10.9 billion and Telenor bid HUF7.3 billion, the watchdog said.