Digital transition in home telephony

What can subscribers of wired telephone services do when notified of works on digital network development or when they are simultaneously offered a new contract or the modification of the valid contract?

Published: 27 June 2016

I. What is digital telephone transition?

Over the course of digital transition, the former analogue technology used in telecommunications is replaced by Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which results in the significant improvement of telecommunication services.

The telecommunication networks must be made suitable for transferring digital signals throughout the country. The process is taking place region by region according to a previously determined scheduled and concluded by 31 December 2016. This also concerns wired telephone services. In order to carry out the digital telephone transition, the so-called universal service providers – mainly Magyar Telekom – are carrying out significant network development, which concerns a wide range of subscribers.

II. How can subscribers gain appropriate information on the transition?

The service provider must notify concerned subscribers of the planned works in advance. This can take place in written, postal or electronic mail forms or via telephone or even in person. The notification includes the planned technical measures, the specific activities as well as the precise time of their performance; the information must also cover the possible effects of the shift of technology on the devices related to wired telephone services (for example, remote administration, alarms, faxes, etc.).

What factors should be carefully considered?

  • The letters received by the service provider should be carefully studied since additional information may be included with the invoices of the service provider.
  • If you selected e-mail as the chosen form of correspondence with the service provider, you should regularly check your mailbox since the letters of the service provider may end up in your trash or spam folders.
  • Subsequent to the notification, it is worth making inquiries from the service provider on the foreseeable works.
  • It’s also a good idea to check for news on the service provider’s website from time to time. The telephone customer service menu of the service provider also includes detailed information on the digital transition.

III. How does the transition effect subscribers?

In many cases, the works related to the development only take place in the service provider’s network (street cabinets, cables) which can only result in a few minute-long cessation of services for subscribers.

In other cases, all that is required is for subscribers – based on the information provided by the service provider – to move the cables connected to the telephone device from the former point of connection (telephone socket, old telecommunication boxes, etc.) to an IP end-point device (router) made available by the service provider, which is operated by electric current.

In some cases, the works must be partially completed at the subscriber’s apartment. In light of the relevant regulations, subscribers must cooperate with the service provider – his employee. The on-site works result in the temporary cessation of services, which mostly lasts for less than half an hour as well as other inconveniences, yet this is the only way you can continue to use the service.

What factors should be carefully considered?

If the subscriber fails to cooperate with the service provider during the network development and its related works (for example, refuses to admit repairmen to their apartment) and the development cannot be carried out due to said reasons, the service provider will terminate the subscription contract after a deadline of 60 days in writing. The subscriber is not entitled to any reimbursement or crediting from the service provider for this reason. Termination may also take place in the case of contracts with a fixed period, however, in these cases the service provider may not demand the reimbursement of any discounts arising from the fixed period arrangement from the subscriber.

  • Upon conclusion of the repairs, it is recommended to verify with the repairmen that the telephone functions appropriately with the new technology and to only sign the worksheet once this has been confirmed. If the reconfiguration entails no on-site repairs, yet the device doesn’t function after said works, the error must be reported to the service provider, requesting the on-site fitting of the device.
  • As with all shifts in technology, digital transition can also lead to the malfunction of some telephone service-related devices (such as remote administration) or devices working in a different order than previously on the new platform. In order to avoid any sudden surprises, it is recommended to gain preliminary information from the manufacturer, distributor or installer of said devices and to provide for their modernization or replacement.

IV. Conclusion of new contracts or newly recommended tariff plans during the transition

The transition itself entails no modifications to the individual subscription contract.

In some cases, the service provider’s employees or agents might approach subscribers in person or over the phone to offer additional services, – with the shift in technology – the adoption of new tariff packages or possibly the conclusion of new, fixed period contracts. Since the acceptance of such offers constitutes an order and a conclusion of contract or result in the modification of the existing contract, subscribers should proceed with caution in such matters.

What factors should be carefully considered?

  • The conditions of the tariff packages will only change when adopting a new tariff package or ordering new services.
  • It is worth gaining preliminary information on the range of services offered by the service provider or at the subscriber’s residence.
  • It is important to keep in mind that if the subscriber is not satisfied with the additional services they utilized, they may terminate the contracts for said services without justification or any disadvantageous circumstances within 14 days of contracting (via cancellation or withdrawal) if they were concluded outside business premises or at a distance (for example, electronically or over the phone).