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Hungary - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Hungary’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.1.1 Unified Telecommunications Act 2001
3.1.2 Electronic Communications Act 2003
3.1.3 EU Regulatory Framework
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.2.1 Nemzeti Hírközlési Hatóság (NHH)
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Hungary
3.3.1 Privatisation
3.3.2 Interconnect
3.3.3 Access
3.3.4 Number portability
3.3.5 Carrier selection (CS) and carrier preselection (CPS)
4. Fixed Network Operators in Hungary
4.1 Market overview
4.2 Magyar Telekom
4.2.1 International expansion
4.3 Hungarotel Co (HTCC) / Invitel
4.4 Monor
4.5 GTS-Datanet
4.6 Antenna Hungária
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 Magyar Telekom
5.1.2 Alternative operators
5.2 International infrastructure
5.3 Telecoms & IT
5.3.1 Overview
6. Wholesaling
6.1 Overview
7. Internet Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Hungary’s emerging Internet society
7.2.1 Legislation
7.2.2 E-commerce
7.2.3 E-government
7.2.4 E-health
7.2.5 E-education
8. Broadband Market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Fixed broadband statistics
8.2 Cable modems
8.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.3.1 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8.4 Wireless broadband
8.4.1 WiFi
8.4.2 Internet via satellite
9. Convergence
9.1 Media convergence
9.2 VoIP telephony
9.3 Overview of broadcasting market
9.4 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
9.4.1 Magyar Televizió (MTV)
9.4.2 TV2
9.4.3 RTL Klub
9.5 Digital TV (DTV)
9.5.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
9.5.2 Cable TV (CATV)
9.5.3 Satellite-based pay TV
9.5.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
10. Mobile Communications
10.1 Overview of Hungary’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 GSM licences
10.2.2 3G licence awards
10.2.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
10.2.4 EU roaming tariffs
10.2.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Digital
10.3.2 Third generation mobile
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 T-Mobile
10.4.2 Pannon GSM
10.4.3 Vodafone Hungary
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid cards
10.6 Mobile data services
10.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS) / Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.6.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6.3 Push-to-talk (PTT)
10.6.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.6.5 BlackBerry
10.6.6 Mobile broadband
10.6.7 Mobile TV
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 T-Mobile
10.7.2 Vodafone Hungary
10.7.3 Pannon GSM
10.7.4 M-commerce (micropayments)
10.8 Mobile marketing
10.8.1 QR code readers
10.8.2 Vodafone live!
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2012; 2018
11.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
11.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
11.2 Forecast 3G subscribers - 2009 - 2012; 2019
12. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables
Table 1 - Country statistics Hungary - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2008
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2008
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2008
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2008
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Magyar Telekom interconnection rates - 2006 - 2008
Table 8 - Magyar Telekom financial data - 2007 - 2008
Table 9 - Magyar Telekom residential, business & payphones in service - 2005 - 2008
Table 10 - HTCC financial data - 2007 - 2008
Table 11 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 1996; 1998 - 2009
Table 12 - Total international Internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2008
Table 13 - Workplace network usage by network type - 2004 - 2008
Table 14 - Total IT hardware spending breakdown by hardware type - 2007
Table 15 - Total IT software spending breakdown by software type - 2007
Table 16 - Total IT hardware services spending - 2007
Table 17 - Total IT software services spending - 2007
Table 18 - Wholesale lines by type - January 2009
Table 19 - Access agreements with Magyar Telekom by type - 2006 - 2008
Table 20 - Cost of local loop unbundling and shared access - 2006 - 2008
Table 21 - Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 1999 - 2009
Table 22 - Internet penetration among businesses by employee size - 2004 - 2008
Table 23 - Percentage of businesses receiving orders online by employee size - 2004 - 2008
Table 24 - Items purchased online by individuals - 2008
Table 25 - Online purchases by age group - 2008
Table 26 - Take up of e-government services by businesses - 2004 - 2008
Table 27 - Take up of e-government services by individuals - 2004 - 2008
Table 28 - Fixed broadband subscribers by access type - January 2009
Table 29 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2000 - 2008
Table 30 - T-Kabel broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2008
Table 31 - Magyar Telekom ADSL subscribers - 2001 - 2008
Table 32 - UPC homes passed - 2003 - 2008
Table 33 - UPC subscribers by service type - 2003 - 2008
Table 34 - UPC financial data - 2006 - 2008
Table 35 - T-Kabel cable subscribers - 2002 - 2008
Table 36 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - 2008
Table 37 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 1996; 1998 - 2009
Table 38 - 3G network coverage per operator - May 2009
Table 39 - T-Mobile financial and operational data - 2004 - 2008
Table 40 - T-Mobile churn, subscriber acquisition costs & ARPU - 2005 - 2008
Table 41 - Pannon GSM financial and operational data - 2005 - 2008
Table 42 - Vodafone Hungary average monthly ARPU & MOU - 2005 - 2007
Table 43 - Prepaid subscribers by operator - 2002 - 2008
Table 44 - GPRS coverage per operator - May 2009
Table 45 - Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2009
Table 46 - Mobile Internet subscribers per operator - 2009
Table 47 - Total mobile Internet data transferred per operator - 2008 - 2009
Table 48 - Average mobile Internet data transferred per operator - 2008 - 2009
Table 49 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 50 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 51 - Forecast 3G subscribers - lower & higher growth scenarios - 2009 - 2012; 2019
Exhibit 1 - EU regulatory framework for communications
Exhibit 2 - Access, the local loop and unbundling - an overview
Exhibit 3 - Number portability defined
Exhibit 4 - Overview of CS and CPS
Exhibit 5 - The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual E-readiness criteria
Exhibit 6 - Overview of media convergence
Exhibit 7 - 2G spectrum awarded

This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MOU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • Telecom market forecasts for selective years to 2019.


BuddeComm’s annual publication, Hungary - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Hungary.  

Building on the success of past economic reforms, Hungary joined the European Union focused on raising living standards. In the process Hungary built up a high level of public and private debt, much of which was denominated in foreign currencies. The global financial crisis impacted Hungary significantly with the Hungarian forint devaluing considerably before later stabilising, in part due to Central Bank’s decision to set relatively high interest rates. The country’s economic woes led to the International Monetary Fund, the EU and World Bank extending emergency loans in October 2008, with the government required to implement unpopular measures such as lifting taxes and reining in spending. Real GDP growth is expected to turn negative during 2009 and 2010. Inflation is expected to ease due to softening consumer demand.

  Despite the slowdown in spending, the telecom market will fare relatively well given the essential nature of most telecom services although competition may increase as mass market and business customers increasingly look for value. Hungary’s fixed telephony market is served by a number of regional incumbents as well as well-established cable TV operators.  

Internet usage is high and broadband the preferred Internet access platform. DSL is the most popular form of broadband access, although the reach of cable TV networks means that cable is widely available and the second most popular platform. The demand for bandwidth is driving deployment of higher speed platforms, such as FTTx and EuroDOCSIS 3.0 for existing cable TV networks. Catering for the large Internet user base are useful online services and applications, fostering the development of an Internet society, a trend recognised and encouraged by the government through investment and policy. It is hoped that Internet society development will increase productivity and improve the standard of living.

  Hungary’s broadcasting market is evolving due to media convergence trends and competition. Standard definition and high definition digital TV is available via terrestrial TV, cable TV networks, satellite and IPTV. Competition has intensified due to the increased number of service providers and introduction of packaged offerings such as triple play. Legislative changes have paved the way for consolidation within the cable market, one of the most fragmented in the EU.

  Hungary’s mobile market, like that of its Central European counterparts, has matured with penetration rates surpassing 100%. Services are offered by three mobile network operators, all of which are majority or wholly-owned by Western European operators. With mobile SIM card penetration at saturation levels, the mobile network operators have shifted focus to increasing ARPU levels, encouraging prepaid users to take up postpaid services as well as encouraging spending and uptake in the underdeveloped mobile broadband and content market. 3G/HSDPA networks have been deployed to support delivery of mobile broadband services; competing network deployments have led to increased transfer speeds.

  Key highlights:

  •          Approximately 40% of households enjoy fixed broadband access. DSL and cable alone represent nearly 95% of all fixed broadband connections. The incumbent announced plans in late 2008 to invest in FTTx infrastructure during 2009-2013 reaching 780,000 households, as well as upgrade existing cable networks with EuroDOCSIS 3.0 technology to 380,000 households.
  •          Encouraging business usage of e-government services is evident, with up to 56% of businesses using e-government services to obtain information, forms and return forms online. Recognising the potential market, the incumbent launched a project to introduce and demonstrate Internet society applications related to the health care, education, public administration, tourism and culture.
  •          A healthy digital TV market is evident; digital terrestrial TV broadcasts based on DVB-T and DVB-H technology commenced in December 2008 and a total of five satellite-based digital TV platforms are in service. Cable TV is widely available, with approximately 80% of households able to access CATV networks. The incumbent introduced a wholesale IPTV offering in June 2009; a number of alternative operators have taken up the wholesale offer and commenced offering competing IPTV services.
  •          Mobile broadband is the next growth opportunity for mobile network operators, as mobile broadband penetration is currently at 3-5%. Mobile TV is also a potential growth area following the launch of mobile broadcasting based on DVB-H in December 2008.
  Hungary - key telecom parameters - 2006; 2009
Sector | 2006 | 2009 (e) |
Broadband |
Fixed broadband subscribers (thousand) | 980 | 1,760 |
Fixed broadband penetration rate | 10% | 18% |
Mobile broadband penetration rate | 1% | 5% |
Subscribers to telecoms services |
Fixed-line telephone subscribers (thousand) | 3,350 | 3,000 |
Mobile phone subscribers (thousand) | 9,100 | 11,500 |
        3G subscribers (thousand) | 120 | 690 |
        3G market share of mobile base | 1% | 6% |
| (Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

  Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.  

The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:
  •          This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.
  •          The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.
  •          All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc, are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.

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