From April 2020 the UPC brand for fixed broadband, cable TV and telephony in Hungary will be replaced by that of its owner, Vodafone, with all mobile and fixed services to be sold under the Vodafone banner, according to a report by Hungarian ICT website HWSW. The planned move follows the Vodafone/UPC Hungary merger completed on 31 July 2019, with the group offering discounts on bundling UPC fixed services with Vodafone mobile packages since September, whilst the UPC Mobil MVNO ceased selling mobile services to new customers on 1 October.
HWSW also quoted an anonymous industry source as saying that Vodafone Hungary will switch on its first commercial 5G mobile base stations in Budapest on 17 October 2019, using its existing 3.5GHz-3.6GHz spectrum. Since May, Vodafone Hungary has operated ‘live, permanent, networked’ 5G base stations at the ‘Zala ZONE’ vehicle testing ground in Zalaegerszeg and at its Budapest headquarters, using the same spectrum which has effectively given it a headstart on main rivals Magyar Telekom and Telenor Hungary. However, all three main players are expected to receive 5G spectrum in a licensing process scheduled for completion in late October/early November.
Separately, in a press release, Vodafone Hungary highlighted a showcase of convergent 5G/home services at the Internet Hungary event (1-2 October 2019), with demos including ‘5G VR tennis’ and ‘Vodafone Living Room’ integrated services capitalising on the merger of Vodafone and UPC Hungary.