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T-Mobile and Telenor Hungary discuss spectrum swaps

24 Feb 2012

Hungarian mobile network operators T-Mobile, a unit of Magyar Telekom, and Telenor Hungary (formerly Pannon), plan to enter into talks about swapping the mobile frequency blocks each was allocated by the regulator last month, in line with the tender schedule. The two cellcos said yesterday that the blocks they were each awarded in the 900MHz band are not aligned in a way that would enable them to utilise them in the best way. Telenor reportedly confirmed the pair will likely swap bands in order to maximise efficiency and use the blocks ‘at the highest possible capacity’. The talks will probably begin once the auction tender is fully completed and ratified – possible in April.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that the Hungarian government raised a total of HUF43.9 billion (USD197 million) from the auction of mobile frequencies in the 900MHz band, which closed on 31 January. The regulator, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), held the tender to sell a 10.8MHz block of spectrum and said that a consortium led by state-owned electricity wholesaler MVM has won the ‘A block’, suitable for both internet and voice services, paying HUF10 billion. Meanwhile, the country’s three incumbent mobile carriers – Telenor, Vodafone and T-Mobile Hungary – 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.

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