DIGI loses 5G court case, but may appeal

13 Nov 2020

Hungary’s National Media & Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Media- es Hirkozlesi Hatosag, NMHH) confirmed on its website that the Metropolitan Court has dismissed a legal action from fixed and mobile operator DIGI, which had opposed the NMHH’s decision to exclude it from the country’s 5G frequency licence auction earlier this year. The court found that the regulator’s decision was based on a correct interpretation of the law. However, DIGI is permitted to launch an appeal.

The NMHH disallowed DIGI from entering a bid in the 5G spectrum licence auction, which went ahead in March 2020 with all three of DIGI’s main mobile rivals receiving 15-year 700MHz/3500MHz licences. DIGI appealed the regulator’s ruling, originally issued in September 2019 for failing to meet bidding eligibility criteria, but the NMHH’s second-instance decision two months later upheld its initial declaration.

Currently, DIGI is also protesting publicly about conditions imposed by the NMHH on Hungary’s next mobile frequency auction, which it fears will lead to its exclusion from the process once again. DIGI has so far gathered over 80,000 signatures for its petition on the matter.