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Hungary makes preparations to sell 450 MHz, 900 MHz mobile frequencies

Hungary's National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH) makes preparations for the sale of the rights to a 450 MHz mobile frequency as well as a fourth 900 MHz frequency, NMHH Vice Chairman Gábor Mátrai told MTI on Tuesday.

The authority will also make a recommendation whether to sell these frequencies at tender or through auction, Mátrai said noting that the decision will be made by the National Development Ministry.

The ministry announced in July it planned to sell a fourth mobile frequency.

The 2010 budget, which had been prepared by the previous government, includes HUF 20 billion in revenue from the sale of the frequencies.

Mátrai said that the 450 MHz frequency will be offered for sale first. Despite an earlier unsuccessful attempt to sell this frequency, companies have currently expressed interest in the purchase. In Mátrai's view this frequency could be bought by a new operator.

The state is expected to offer the other, 900 MHz frequency mainly for wideband mobile internet services, and NMHH is examining the conditions to allow a new operator to enter the stage. Mátrai did not exclude, however, offering this frequency only to the three existing mobile service providers.

There are currently three mobile-service providers operating in Hungary - Deutsche Telekom unit Magyar Telekom, Britain's Vodafone and Norway's Telenor ASA.

The authority also is working on introducing a new, general regulation of frequency fees, Mátrai said. This would affect around 12,000 market players, including the three mobile service companies but also broadcasters or radio amateurs.

Revenue to the budget is a priority therefore fess cannot on the whole drop compared to the previous years and are to remain at around HUF 13 billion, he said. (MTI-Econews)