The NMHH hosted an online workshop on the radio spectrum strategy of the next five years

Published: 10 September 2020

On 3 September, at the invitation of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority, approximately one hundred and twenty experts gathered online to contribute to the NMHH’s radio spectrum strategy for the next five years with their experience and opinions.

As the current strategy of the NMHH encompasses the period of 2016–2020, it has become necessary to prepare a document for the 2021–2025 period. This included the workshop announced for 3 September at Hotel Gellért. Although the Authority initially intended to host the event with personal attendance, due to the escalating pandemic situation, it was finally compelled to opt for an online solution.

For months, the Authority has been collecting professional opinions and relevant documents for the strategy from domestic and international market operators, users, service providers, manufacturers and institutions, as the development and support of the Hungarian infocommunications market and facilitating the introduction of new technologies and services is a key task of the NMHH.

The event was opened by Director-General of the NMHH Dr. Janka Aranyos-Börcs, followed by thought-provoking introductory lectures from Deputy Director-General Péter Vári and Deputy Head of the Frequency and Identifier Management Department Emília Ulelay, after which the workshop activities began in earnest. Discussions and lectures were hosted in ten small-size groups in five different subjects, with the assistance of the NMHH’s professional moderators.

One of the important tasks of the professional event was to overview and systematize the strategic goals taking shape. First, they jointly examined the current strategic goals and their implementation. Meeting the growing mobile broadband demands, terrestrial audiovisual broadcasting and adapting to digitalisation as well as the preservation of the values of non-civilian radiocommunications were all featured amongst the strategic goals. The support of the early introduction of these state-of-the-art, innovative technologies, ensuring effective, high-quality management and establishing a flexible, open institutional system capable of satisfying various demands are all necessary elements.

The previous strategy included providing an additional 160 MHz to satisfy growing mobile broadband demands, which facilitates a minimum indoor service coverage of ninety-nine percent for wireless Internet services. The development of 5G is also incentivised by the programme: The technology must be made available on railways, public roads, in settlements, at tourism sites as well as through so-called verticals – including healthcare, industrial parks and higher education – by 2025.

An inevitable element of effective operation is the comprehensive legal framework provided by the European Electronic Communications Code that will be implemented in the current strategic period, although its impact will only be felt in the next phase. Hungary was one of the first member states of the European Union to put into practice in mid-July the EU directive entering into force at the end of this year.

The spectrum strategy of the NMHH based on a study of more than three hundred pages also requires international cooperation and – amongst other things – coincides with the 2020–2023 strategic plan of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the 5G schedule of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) as well as the 5G Action Plan and European Digital Strategy of the European Union. In Hungary, the government’s National Infocommunications Strategy, the Digital National Development Programme and the provisions of the Digital Welfare Programme are in line with the current and planned strategy. Currently, numerous programmes, actions plans, measures and procedures are taking shape, all of which have an impact on the industry and are significant factors in the implementation of the strategy – these considerations include, for example, climate protection, cyber safety as well as the impact of 5G on human health.

At the workshop, the virtual groups discussed the various subjects for one hour, after which the spokesmen of the individual groups each presented their messages to those defining the strategy one after the other in ten minutes. The main subjects included user and service provider demands, socioeconomic aspects; access to the spectrum, new spectrum use cases, market competition; effective frequency usage, spectrum management and regulation; spectrum strategy-related demands and expectations; as well as technological trends and challenges. The opinions significantly support the process of placing adequate emphasis on the various elements throughout the strategy development and the finalisation of the milestones.

The Authority seeks to accomplish its strategic plans by 2025 in accordance with the governmental objectives, utilising the opportunities offered by the regulatory environment. The goal is to achieve the greatest social and economic returns through the application of the latest digitalization devices, and to take part in the international cooperation flexibly, actively and proactively. One of the key messages presented to the NMHH was that the stakeholders wished to review the strategy prior to its finalisation: they will have the option of doing so in the remaining part of the year.

The slides of the lecture are available online, while the recording of the event is available from Monday. These provide an important professional background for stakeholders and participants in reviewing the final strategic plan.