Three operators to pay a total of HUF 128.5 bn at an auction of the NMHH for the spectrum open for 5G

Published: 26 March 2020

With bidders including Magyar Telekom, Telenor Hungary and Vodafone Hungary, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority organised an auction for 5G frequencies on 26 March. The auction was a scene of intense competition: bidding companies purchased frequency usage rights for 15 years in 3 frequency bands for a total of HUF 128,490,000.001.

When the bids submitted for the  frequency usage rights pertaining to fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology and wireless broadband services in the 700 MHz, 2100 MHz and 3600 MHz frequency bands were opened on March 11, demand appeared to be higher than supply. Consequently, NMHH held auctions of the blocks for sale on March 26 under strict precautionary measures.

The event was of paramount importance for the Hungarian economy, as it could give Hungary a competitive edge over those countries where the most important spectrum segments available for 5G services have not yet been sold. After the auction, Hungary will be one of the first to take advantage of 5G innovations in, for example, the industrial, healthcare, agricultural, transport or even logistics sectors. The bidding operators will pay the Hungarian state treasury, thus ultimately to Hungarian citizens, a significant amount, approximately HUF 128.5 billion, for the frequency usage rights acquired at the auction.

The three operators involved in NMHH’s auction procedure could bid on the number of frequency blocks they intended to purchase for each frequency band at the initial bid price listed in the documentation. The auction was preceded by a trial auction on March 24, where representatives of the operators, in addition to reading the sales documentation, had a chance to learn about the planned agenda and methodology of the auction at the site.

Due to the well-known epidemic situation, the auction took place under special circumstances. NMHH provided general on-site health supervision for the event, and ensured necessary protective equipment for all participants of the auction. The representatives of both the operators and the authority displayed responsible, disciplined behaviour in this state of danger, fully complying with the health advice that apply in such a situation.