NMHH’s device replacement programme launched: how to apply and why?

Published: 14 February 2022

The device replacement programme of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) was launched with a budget of HUF 5 billion on 14 February. A quarter of a million of 3G- and 2G-enabled used mobile phones can be replaced with at least 4G-enabled new devices suitable for mobile internet use. On the thematic sub-page (netrefel.hu) of the authority nearly 700 registered stores are searchable on a map and a short film helps you find out about how to claim the funding. The most important information are summarised here below.

As a result of the extensive spread of 4G networks and the smart phones using them, Hungarian telecommunications operators plan to switch off the 3G mobile network by 2023, which will make mobile internet unavailable on a number of older type devices. The transition is supported by the device replacement funding programme of NMHH: it subsidises the replacement of 3G-enabled devices in use with at least 4G-enabled phones with a gross amount of HUF 20,000 for the purchase of a device with a maximum gross value of HUF 120,000. The replacement of mobile devices capable of 2G-reception only will be possible after 9 May, subject to availability of funds.

We plan to make the application easy for people” - said Péter Vári Deputy Director General of NMHH. “On the map available on netrefel.hu the thematic website of NMHH interested people can type in the name or postal code of where they live and find the details of the closest stores included in the programme. On the website you can watch a video containing general information and giving a detailed description of the application procedure.”

Country-wide device replacement within minutes

After choosing the most convenient from the 700 trading points registered in the programme, all the applicants need to take with themselves, besides the old device, are their personal ID card and residential address card. In the store the dealer checks whether the applicant is eligible for the funding based on the IMEI number of the old phone, then records the personal data: checks the applicant’s personal ID card and residential address card. After that the buyer must make a statement about whether they have deleted from the device any personal data generated by the use before handing in the phone. This is followed by the purchase of the selected new device with a value of no more than HUF 120,000, which is supported by NMHH with a HUF 20,000 grant. This will expectedly take around 15-20 minutes.

Before you leave home

It is recommended to check the dealer’s offers, familiarize yourself with the devices before you leave home to accelerate the device selection. On the netrefel.hu website the authority offers help in selecting the device too. If you are unable to handle the device replacement yourself, you may authorise a person, a family member or someone you approve of as your helper (the form can be downloaded from the netrefel.hu website or the mobilcsere.nffku.hu tendering page of the International Development and Fund Coordination Agency implementing the programme).

Since the old device must be handed in for safe and environmentally friendly disposal, it is important to prepare your old phone, to save the personal data (contacts, photos, notes) from the telephone and remove the SIM and, if available, the SD card. You can read detailed guidelines broken down by device types on the netrefel.hu website. The applicant must confirm the erasure of personal data at the purchase.

How to count Gs, that is, which phones to replace?

The phasing out of 3G networks is on the agenda in several European countries. Hungarian mobile service providers already started the process. Besides communication, other steps have already been taken, and it is expected that 3G will no longer be available in Hungary by the first half of 2023. The 2G network will be safely available, there are no plans for its termination. This is why the funding may primarily be claimed for the replacement of 3G devices, but depending on the budget, 2G-ready devices may also be included from 9 May. If you are uncertain about the network capabilities of your device, you can easily check it. NMHH compiled a list of almost 100 of the most frequently used 3G devices on its information website netrefel.hu. The owners of active devices enlisted there are eligible for the funding.

The mobile device replacement funding programme launched today by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) will be open until 17 July 2022 or until the budget is exhausted. For the infocommunications authority it is of particular importance that consumers are not adversely affected by the technology change, which is why it has initiated the funding programme in partnership with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. The programme is implemented by the International Development and Fund Coordination Agency Co. (IDEFA).