Hungary - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 6 May 2021 Update History

Report Pages: 202

Hungary’s regulator concludes multi-spectrum 5G auction

Hungary benefits from having a developed telecom infrastructure, with a focus among operators to develop the 5G sector and upgrade fixed networks to provide a 1Gb/s service. Services based on 5G have been supported by the January 2021 multi-spectrum auction for spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. Digi Mobile failed to secure spectrum, which prompted the operator’s parent company to sell the unit to 4iG.

As in many other markets in the region, the number of fixed-lines continues to fall as subscribers migrate to the mobile platform for voice and data services. Operators have thus looked to bundled packages to boost revenue and retain subscribers. This strategy encouraged Vodafone Group to acquire UPC Hungary in mid-2019.

The broadband market has effective infrastructure-based competition, with an extensive cable network competing against DSL services and a vibrant and rapidly expanding fibre sector. The regulator has also introduced a number of measures aimed at promoting market competition, which is pushing the drive for higher speed platforms and encouraging operators to invest in technology upgrades. As a result, Hungary now has the highest fixed broadband penetration rate in Eastern Europe. By the beginning of 2021, the incumbent telco Maygar Telekom provided a 1Gb/s service to about 2.5 million premises across the country. The number of superfast broadband connections (above 30Mb/s) accounted for 78% of all fixed broadband connections.

The dynamic mobile market is served by four MNOs and a small number of MVNOs. Mobile penetration is relatively high for the region, and there remains considerable growth in mobile broadband services delivered via upgraded networks. Revenue growth is focused on mobile data as operators struggle with competition and regulated tariff reductions, as well as reductions in the MTR.

Maygar Telekom is at the forefront of 5G developments, supported by the government, universities, other telcos and vendors forming the Hungarian 5G Coalition. By March 2021, Vodafone Hungary managed about 300 5G base stations in Budapest and its surrounds, as well as in a number of other cities.

This report provides an overview of Hungary’s telecoms market, highlighting regulatory developments, the major operators, fixed-line network infrastructure and a range of statistics. The report also covers the mobile voice and data sectors, including a review of regulations and operator strategies for adopting new technologies. In addition, the report reviews the fixed and wireless broadband market, including market analyses, statistics and subscriber forecasts to 2024.

BuddeComm notes that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the telecoms market. On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, has offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect has been a reduced (and sometimes negative) subscriber growth, which will continue into 2021.

Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Digi Communications sells Digi Hungary and its subsidiaries to the ICT developer 4iG;
  • Regulator concludes 900/1800MHz spectrum auction;
  • IoT-based smart agriculture service launched on farms;
  • Utility Tax amendments favouring superfast broadband network roll-outs;
  • FttX subscriber base reaches 1.03 million;
  • Maygar Telecom steps up e-health initiatives;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to February 2021, telcos' financial and operating data to Q4 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Maygar Telecom, Vodafone Hungary (UPC Hungary), Hungarotel, GTS Datanet, B2B Europe, T-Mobile Hungary, Telenor Hungary, Invitel, Antenna Hungária

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