Digi Communications, the Romanian-owned parent group of Hungarian fixed and mobile operator DIGI, has issued a statement decrying the recent decision of Hungary’s telecoms regulator to complete the country’s 5G mobile auction while excluding DIGI from the proceedings. The National Media & Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Media- es Hirkozlesi Hatosag, NMHH) awarded Magyar Telekom, Telenor Hungary and Vodafone Hungary 15-year licences including 5G spectrum in the 700MHz and 3600MHz bands on 26 March despite a pending legal action from DIGI, which had its licence bidding application rejected by the NMHH in September 2019 for failing to meet eligibility criteria.
Serghei Bulgac, CEO of Digi Communications, said the group was ‘deeply disappointed by the decision of the NMHH’ and highlighted that a final court verdict was awaited regarding Digi’s petition to suspend the auction procedure, adding that the group considers that ‘by discouraging competition and blocking access to a fourth mobile operator on the spectrum, the Authority drastically reduces the chances of consumers purchasing basic services at competitive prices’. The statement furthermore asserted that the group is now ‘even more determined to continue the legal steps to challenge the unfair exclusion from this auction’ and that it ‘requests the Authority to annul the decision announced on Thursday, to resume the procedure and to assume the role of an equal arbitrator in the communications market’.
Meanwhile, DIGI (Hungary) is continuing its 4G mobile network rollout, having reported recently on its website that it made its DIGIMobil services available in 42 additional settlements, taking the total on-net footprint to 529 cities and municipalities.