Electronic communications supervision
It is the task of the NMHH to monitor whether the organisations, companies and entrepreneurs providing communications services in Hungary – such as the providers of fixed or mobile telephone services, ISPs, cable providers or companies offering access to satellite television – perform their activities in compliance with the regulations pertaining to the sector. Whenever the NMHH observes a case of non-compliance during its surveillance activity, it takes measures to have the violation eliminated and to ensure that the operations of the given provider will comply with the relevant regulations in the future. By doing so, it protects the rights and rightful interests of subscribers and users of the services, as well as fair market competition; indeed, without this control, irregularly operating providers would gain unfair advantage against its competitors. The NMHH may launch procedures ex officio against a given provider – in other words, it has the means to proceed within its own competence and based on its own decisions. Nevertheless, it is also possible for users to instigate proceedings whenever they discover an infringement and are unable to appropriately settle the affair with their respective provider.
Of the various tools available to the Authority, the most important is that it has the power to mandate the infringing party to cease the infringement and restore lawful operation. Following the specified due date, or whenever the number of complaints start to rise again, compliance will be monitored. The NMHH may also impose fines both as a sanction for the infringement and as a deterrent from future violations, or call on the infringing party to publish its resolution or another announcement in order to inform the general public and affected subscribers alike. In particularly grave violations, it is also entitled to have the given operation suspended or banned altogether.
The NMHH also engages in the surveillance of devices suitable for receiving and transmitting communication services. Since these operate on radio frequencies, interference between devices may be possible. The NMHH works to eliminate such interferences.
It also performs a list of other measurements involving the radio spectrum, which facilitate the official decision-making process. That said, the NMHH is tasked with:
- radio monitoring (surveying the parameters of frequency use),
- radio surveillance (verifying compliance with the frequency assignment or radio licence),
- radio detection (locating the sources of unknown, unlicensed or interfering transmissions – commonly referred to as pirate radios – and other high-frequency signals),
- radio interference monitoring (investigating and eliminating reception-related or other radio communication interference),
- coverage assessment (measuring the signal strength of radio stations),
- and EMC measurement (determining the incompatibility of radio stations and other devices emitting electromagnetic radiation).
In order to make the appropriate legal, regulatory and supervisory decisions, the NMHH must be supported by competent personnel possessing up-to-date knowledge in technical and technological issues. Therefore, future trends are being assessed at the NMHH by qualified professionals, who are also in permanent contact with international organisations and scientific forums.