NMHH Decree on prepaid subscriber agreements enters into force
The NMHH Decree laying down detailed rules relating to the provisions for mobile telephone agreements for prepaid SIM cards included in the Act on Electronic Communications entered into force on 12th January. The published Decree contains no material changes compared with the draft Decree issued for public consultation. Provisions limiting the number of agreements per subscriber and requiring data reconciliation also take effect.
Pursuant to the Act, only a limited number of prepaid SIM cards can be registered under the name of a subscriber. The Act also requires data reconciliation upon the conclusion of a new subscriber agreement and annually for existing agreements. Furthermore, service providers must review existing agreements and identify their existing subscribers by 30 June 2017 or their agreements will be terminated.
1. How many prepaid subscriptions are allowed per subscriber?
The NMHH Decree stipulates that maximum number of prepaid mobile SIM cards (prepaid subscriber agreements) allowed per mobile service provider is 10 for individual subscribers and 50 for business subscribers. Subscribers who currently have prepaid subscriptions in excess of this limit must declare which ones they intend to keep. Prepaid subscriptions in excess of this limit shall be terminated as of 1 July 2017, with the option to purchase other, e.g. postpaid subscriptions instead.
2. Will there be any changes to the locations to purchase SIM cards or top up my balance?
No. The applicable legislation remained unchanged: the same points of sale are available to purchase subscriptions (e.g. stores of service providers, retailers, filling stations) and top up your balance.
3. Should subscribers keep in mind that data reconciliation is needed or will they be notified by service providers?
For existing prepaid subscriptions, service providers must notify subscribers at least twice that subscriber agreements for prepaid SIM cards will be terminated as of 1 July 2017 in the absence of a declaration. When concluding new agreements, service providers automatically reconcile data with subscribers before starting to provide services, as they have been doing. However, subscribers will be responsible for remembering to provide data for the purpose of the reconciliation after being notified by their service provider.
4. What is the deadline for service providers to reconcile data with their subscribers concerned?
If a subscriber already has an existing prepaid agreement as of 1 January 2017, the service provider must reconcile such subscriber’s data by 30 June 2017. If a subscriber concludes a new agreement (purchases a prepaid mobile subscription) after 1 January 2017, the service provider will be required to reconcile data with its subscriber prior to starting to provider services to such subscriber.
5. Do I have to be present in person for data reconciliation?
You as a prepaid subscriber do not have to be present in person for data reconciliation at the service provider if you are a Hungarian citizen and have an official Hungarian form of identification (identity card, driving licence, passport). It is sufficient for the service provider to request the provision of data on the official form of identification of the person signing the prepaid subscriber agreement by phone, via email or in any other manner specified by the service provider and check its validity in the public registry. Now anyone can try this check at https://www.nyilvantarto.hu/ugyseged/OkmanyErvenyessegLekerdezes.xhtml.
Foreign nationals who do not have an official Hungarian form of identification must be present in person for data reconciliation as official forms of identifications issued by other countries cannot be checked in the Hungarian registry. They are required to present their entry or residence documents in person at the service provider.
6. Do existing subscribers need to reconcile their data?
Yes. Data reconciliation is also required retrospectively for existing subscribers and must be performed by service providers by 30 June 2017. For new agreements, service providers reconcile data with subscribers before concluding an agreement.
7. What will happen after 30 June 2017?
If a subscriber’s identity is not verified by then, all of subscriber’s prepaid agreements will be terminated at that deadline and the subscriber will not be able to use any prepaid SIM cards.
Likewise, all prepaid subscriber agreements will be terminated, thereby prohibiting subscribers from using prepaid SIM cards, if subscribers who have more prepaid mobile SIM cards than allowed, although having successfully reconciled their data, fail to declare by 30 June 2017 which ones they intend to keep up to the maximum permitted number.
If data reconciliation is successful, subscribers will next be required to reconcile their data again one year after making a declaration. Service providers will send separate notifications to that effect.
8. Is data reconciliation required only once or does it have to be repeated?
Data reconciliation must be performed every year, but only once. For new subscriptions, data reconciliation must take place before concluding the agreement, then once a year. For prepaid agreements existing as of 1 January 2017, it must be carried out by 30 June 2017, then also once a year.
9. Why is the new legislation needed?
Thanks to the legislative amendment, it is now possible to prohibit individuals and companies from purchasing a number of prepaid SIM-card subscriptions that is more than realistic and resell them, and a smoother administration also requires subscribers being identified as accurately as possible, a standard practice seen at utility providers, e.g. gas or electricity suppliers.
10. Can I be contacted in person by my service provider?
It is important to note that service providers do not contact subscribers in person at their homes or place of work for the purpose of data reconciliation. Such calls are probably made with malicious intent. If you are unsure as to the truthful nature of such calls, please contact your service provider.