Hungarian state-owned utility MVM has emerged as the only bidder – and hence likely winner – of the country’s auction of an unused part of the 450MHz band, according to an unconfirmed report in the business daily Vilaggazdasag. As reported by CommsUpdate, in October this year the industry regulator the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) launched a call for the sale of the ten-year contract for its remaining mobile frequencies in the 450MHz range. The winner of ten-year licence will have to provide digital public services using the spectrum, and will have to develop digital public services capable of connecting rural public administration centres to the country’s nationwide digital network. The blocks of spectrum are seen as ideal for the deployment of smart metering systems or for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services. The government hopes to receive HUF150 million (USD683,000) from the award of the licence, plus a further HUF132 million per annum for the first four years, and then HUF265 million per year from year five onward.
If MVM’s award is verified, the announcement would support the notion that the Budapest government has not given up on its plan to see a state-backed mobile operator entering the domestic market. Earlier this year the government wound up MPVI Mobil, the state-owned vehicle that was set up to be the country’s fourth mobile network operator. However, it would now appear plausible that MVM may be allocated a new role to provide state-backed competition to the three privately-owned cellcos.