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Telco regulator wants to make full use of mobile spectrum

Hungary's National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) on Tuesday said it aims to make full use of the country's mobile frequency spectrum as soon as possible to boost competition and bring down tariffs. The NMHH said mobile telephone tariffs in Hungary, especially for smartphones, are "several times" higher than those in similar packages offered in other European countries. It blamed these high prices for the country's low mobile internet penetration rate. A recent European Commission report put mobile penetration in Hungary at just 18.7%, the lowest rate in Europe after Belgium with 25.9%. The NMHH noted that four mobile service providers are present in European countries where tariffs are cheaper. Hungary's state-owned MPVI won the biggest spectrum allotment in a mobile frequency auction early last year and was expected to become the fourth player on the mobile market, after Magyar Telekom, Telenor and Vodafone. But a court annulled the results, arguing the block could not go to a state-owned company. The Kúria, Hungary's supreme court, upheld the ruling in a decision late in February.