Hungary’s National Media & Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Media- es Hirkozlesi Hatosag, NMHH) yesterday (26 March 2020) completed the country’s 5G spectrum auction, with Magyar Telekom, Telenor Hungary and Vodafone Hungary spending a total of HUF128.49 billion (USD397 million) on 700MHz, 2100MHz and 3600MHz licences in a highly competitive bidding contest. A preliminary bid stage on 11 March showed that demand outstripped availability for the frequencies on offer, particularly regarding the 700MHz band, prompting the NMHH to proceed to a secondary auction.
Magyar Telekom won 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band, 2×10MHz in the 2100MHz band and 1×120MHz in the 3600MHz band.
Telenor Hungary acquired 2×5MHz in the 700MHz band and 1×140MHz in the 3600MHz band.
Vodafone Hungary received 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band, 2×5MHz in the 2100MHz band and 1×50MHz in the 3600MHz band.
There were no bidders for a 2600MHz (1×15MHz) block also on offer.
The usage rights of the acquired frequencies will expire uniformly in 2035. Licences in the 3600MHz and 2100MHz bands have immediate validity – with Hungary aiming to support 3.5GHz-3.6GHz 5G launches and capacity increases for existing mobile networks. 700MHz concessions will not become valid until 6 September 2020, due to the ongoing process of transferring the 700MHz range – the ‘second digital dividend’ – from digital terrestrial television (DTT) to mobile broadband usage to support 5G development, TeleGeography notes. Licences will be extendable for a further five years without any additional one-off payment.