2012 Hungary - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 1 May 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 64

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Hungary’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include: 

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Telco tax raises HUF61 billion but cuts into operator profits and CAPEX; operators report lower revenue; access regulations incorporate fibre and cable infrastructure sharing; National Media and Infocommunication Authority inaugurated to oversee telecoms sector; DTTV available to 95% of population yet ASO completion put off to end-2014; UPC cable dominance following purchase of FiberNet assets; Magyar Telekom launches Interactive Sat TV satellite TV platform; New Media Law causing EC concerns; UPC launches mobile service as an MVNO; RG Networks launches satellite broadband via Eutelsat; FttX subscriber base approaches 350,000; government expands e-payment systems; Maygar Telecom steps up e-health initiatives; regulator market data to March 2013; telco’s financial and operating data for Q4 2012; market developments to May 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

UPC Hungary, Maygar Telecom, Hungarotel, GTS Datanet, FiberNet, Antenna Hungaria, Maygar Televizio, TV2, Invitel, Antenna Hungaria, T-Mobile, Telenor, Vodafone Hungary.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- May 2012 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

Hungary’s MVNO sector develops with UPC entering market

BuddeComm’s half-yearly publication, Hungary - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in one of Eastern Europe’s more progressive countries. The report includes the regulator’s market data to March 2013; telco’s financial and operating data for Q4 2012; market developments to May 2013.

Economic background

Poorly executed fiscal policies since the beginning of the century resulted in a high state budget deficit which successive governments have tackled through introducing austerity measures, lower state spending and increased taxes. The government’s ‘crisis tax’ levied on telecom sector revenue has been criticised by the EC as unfair to foreign-owned telcos, while the Court of Justice may be asked to intervene in early 2013 to have the tax repealed. GDP was estimated to have fallen 1% for 2012, with stagnation recorded in about half of national industries, though that for ICT has grown slightly.

Telecom market overview

Dominated by international players including Telekom Deutschland, Telenor, UPC and Vodafone, Hungary’s telecom sector remains attractive to outside investors. The overall market, particularly the mobile and broadband sectors, became more dynamic after Hungary joined the EU in 2004. Membership saw an injection of funding as well as regulatory oversight. Although liberalisation has meant that there are numerous active players, the various sectors are served by a few key operators.

Broadband market

Hungary enjoys high broadband penetration compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. DSL and cable remain the dominant access platforms though FttX has emerged as a key focus for future growth, while the 51% growth in the mobile broadband subscriber base in the year to September 2012 illustrates the potential for services and revenue from that sector in coming years. Cable networks are being rapidly upgraded with DOCSIS3.0 technology, so enabling players to offer bundled services.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013



2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers



Mobile broadband



Mobile phone



Fixed-line telephony



Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband









(Source: BuddeComm)


Market Highlights

  • The state-owned consortium MPVI Mobile had its licence annulled in early 2013, after the courts found that the regulator had incorrectly allocated spectrum to a company which was not allowed to have bid. MNOs were obliged to return 900MHz allocations.
  • In late 2012 the government abandoned plans to extend the utility tax to include not only underground ducts and pipes but also above-ground cables, wires and pipes. The tax would have provided the state with up to HUF30 billion (€107 million) in revenue for underground infrastructure together with HUF30-40 billion for aboveground infrastructure.
  • LTE services augur well for mobile broadband developments during the coming years.
  • DTTV services are available to 95% of the population. Although legislation initially set ASO for the end of 2011, with the process undertaken regionally, the government has delayed it to the end of 2014 depending on related amendments to the New Media Act. Both Romania and Bulgaria have also put back their ASO dates.
  • The fibre sector has shown the strongest growth in the fixed broadband market, with the number of subscribers expected to reach 350,000 by the end of 2013. 

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Hungary. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics and forecasts.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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