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Gov’t to call frequency tender soon, says development minister

The government will soon call a frequency tender for the 900 MHz band, National Development Minister Tamás Fellegi said.

Proposals related to frequencies are ready and the last talks have wound up, thus proposals will be put to service providers in the coming days, Fellegi said.

The government announced last summer that it planned to sell a fourth mobile frequency. National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) told MTI in September that preparations were underway for the sale of a fourth frequency in the 900 MHz band.

The Hungarian units of Deutsche Telekom, the UK's Vodafone and Norway's Telenor hold rights for frequencies in the band at present.

The National Development Ministry will establish a telecommunications roundtable at which industry representatives can propose regulatory changes that could define the sector's activities after 2012, when the crisis tax on the sector ends, Fellegi said.

Speaking about the transition from terrestrial analogue to digital broadcast, Fellegi said the full switch could be delayed and has been delayed, but the government is trying to stick as close as possible to the originally planned deadline at the end of 2011.

Parliament approved in December a change to the Media Act that pushed back the deadline for making the switch to digital terrestrial broadcasting. The change moved the deadline for making digital programming available to at least 94% of the population from December 31, 2011 to December 31, 2012. However, if the deadline is not met, the amendment allows the switch to be made as late as December 31, 2014.