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Vodafone Group CEO meets Palkovics, Szijjártó

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Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó held discussions with Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read on January 8 and 9 respectively discussing digital advancement and future plans, Vodafone Hungary told the Budapest Business Journal.

At the face-to-face meetings, the new CEO of Vodafone Group discussed a variety of topics such as the digital advancement of Hungary, in which Vodafone, as a leading global telecommunications company, plays a key role.

"The launching of 5G mobile technology is essential for the development of all European economies, including Hungary’s, and on its major markets Vodafone is ready to be a 5G quality leader, building on its high quality 4G networks," explained Read.

"This year, in Hungary, the expected auction of 5G frequencies will represent a key step on the path leading there. Vodafone Hungary will, of course, participate in the tender, as, quite proactively, it had already purchased some spectrum in the year 2016 auction in the 3.5GHz frequency range. Thus, currently it is the only mobile operator in the country to have 5G spectrum suitable for the provision of commercial services."

Read mentioned that the decision of the European Commission, as the competition authority, about the transaction announced in 2018 is also expected this year. Under the deal, Vodafone Group would acquire the Hungarian, German, Czech and Romanian subsidiaries of Liberty Global at for an enterprise value of EUR 18.4 billion. Included in the package is cable and broadband internet operator UPC Hungary, which serves 1.8 million homes in Hungary.

The CEO emphasized that the operator’s strategy was to make its services available everywhere in the country, thus further boosting competition as the number one challenger to the incumbent player, and contributing to the emergence of even more innovative services and to a further boost in network development.

According to Read, the acceleration of digitalization in Hungary and the strengthening of market competition is beneficial to the whole country, consumers and enterprise customers alike.

Read also noted that Vodafone participates in Hungary’s Digital Prosperity Program, is a member of the board of the 5G Coalition, and a founding member of the Artificial Intelligence Coalition. The firm supports the advancement of digital education in the country through the Vodafone Hungary Foundation, he said.

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