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Hungary - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);


Growing appetite for next generation broadband in HungaryAs part of the European Union, Hungary possesses an open economy. Impacted by the recent global financial crisis, assistance was provided by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and World Bank, leading to implementation of unpopular fiscal measures. Despite improving economic prospects based on export growth, real GDP is expected to continue contracting in 2010, with IMF estimates of a 0.2% contraction.

Despite the economic slowdown, the telecom market has fared relatively well given the essential nature of most telecom services. Noted impacts include falling subscriber numbers in the mobile market and reduced revenue for foreign investors due to the devalued Forint. During 2010 the fixed-line market continued its downward trend in fixed-line numbers in response to fixed mobile substitution. Hungary’s fixed telephony market is served by the incumbent as well as well-established competing cable TV operators.

Broadband represents the majority of Internet connections; DSL and cable are the most popular broadband access platforms due to the reach of the public switched telephone network and cable TV networks. The demand for bandwidth is driving deployment of higher speed platforms, such as FttX and EuroDocsis 3.0. 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.

Hungary’s broadcasting market is evolving due to competition and the migration of TV from analogue to digital. Standard definition and high definition digital TV is available via terrestrial TV, cable TV networks, satellite and broadband TV.

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 Average Revenue per User levels; encouraging prepaid users to take up postpaid services as well as encouraging spending in the underdeveloped mobile broadband and content market. The reach of 3G/HSDPA networks is expanding to support mobile broadband services.

Market highlights:Approximately 50% of households enjoy fixed broadband access. Faster broadband is becoming evident due to large-scale FttX and DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts such as the incumbent’s plan to reach 1.2 millions with FttX networks by 2013.The uptake of Internet society services continues to grow; over half of businesses utilise e-government services to obtain and return information forms. Opportunities in the nascent e-health market have led to acquisitions by the telecoms incumbent.The transition to digital TV continues ahead of analogue switch off in 2012. Significant infrastructure-based competition is evident; digital TV services are offered by five satellite platforms, IPTV and cable TV networks accessible by the majority of Hungarys households as well as digital terrestrial TV.Expanding 3G networks provide coverage to the majority of Hungary’s population, improving accessibility to mobile broadband services. Subscriptions continue to grow despite adverse economic conditions and the price premium for mobile compared with fixed broadband.Hungary broadband and telecoms statistics - 2010 - 2011

Sector20102011
Broadband (thousand)Fixed broadband penetration20%23%
Mobile broadband penetration7%9%
Subscribers to telecoms services (million)
Fixed-line telephone subscribers3.02.9
Mobile phone subscribers10.810.8
(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.

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 (NP)
3.3.5 Carrier selection (CS) and carrier preselection (CPS)
4. Fixed Network Operators
4.1 Market overview
4.2 Magyar Telekom
4.2.1 International expansion
4.3 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 and IT
5.3.1 Overview
5.4 Wholesaling
5.4.1 Overview
6. Internet Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet statistics
7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Fixed broadband statistics
7.2 Cable modems
7.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.3.1 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
7.4 Wireless broadband
7.4.1 WiFi
8. Digital Media/Digital Economy
8.1 Overview of the broadcasting market
8.2 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
8.2.1 Magyar Televizió (MTV)
8.2.2 TV2
8.2.3 RTL Klub
8.3 Digital TV (DTV)
8.3.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
8.3.2 Cable TV (CATV)
8.3.3 Satellite-based pay TV developments
8.3.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
8.4 Digital economy overview
8.4.1 Legislation
8.4.2 E-commerce
8.4.3 E-government
8.4.4 E-health
8.4.5 E-education
9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview of Hungary’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Regulatory issues
9.2.1 GSM licences
9.2.2 3G licence awards
9.2.3 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
9.2.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
9.3 Mobile technologies
9.3.1 Digital
9.3.2 Third Generation mobile
9.4 Major mobile operators
9.4.1 T-Mobile
9.4.2 Telenor
9.4.3 Vodafone Hungary
9.5 Mobile voice services
9.5.1 Prepaid cards
9.6 Mobile data services
9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
9.6.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
9.6.3 Push-to-talk (PTT)
9.6.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
9.6.5 BlackBerry
9.6.6 Mobile broadband
9.6.7 Mobile TV
9.7 Mobile content and applications
9.7.1 T-Mobile
9.7.2 Vodafone Hungary
9.7.3 Telenor
9.7.4 M-commerce (micropayments)
9.8 Mobile marketing
9.8.1 QR code readers
9.8.2 Vodafone live!
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts - fixed broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2013; 2020
10.1.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
10.1.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
11. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Hungary - 2010
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2010
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2010
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2010
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2010
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Magyar Telekom interconnection rates - 2006 - 2009
Table 8 - Magyar Telekom financial data - January - June 2010
Table 9 - Magyar Telekom residential, business and payphones in service - 2005 - 2010
Table 10 - Invitel financial data - January - June 2010
Table 11 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2000 - 2011
Table 12 - Total international Internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2009
Table 13 - Workplace network usage by network type - 2004 - 2010
Table 14 - Cost of local loop unbundling and shared access - 2006 - 2009
Table 15 - Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 1999 - 2011
Table 16 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2000 - 2010
Table 17 - T-Kabel broadband subscribers - 2004 - 2010
Table 18 - Magyar Telekom retail ADSL subscribers - 2005 - 2010
Table 19 - TV market share per operator - 2009 - 2010
Table 20 - Magyar Telekom IPTV subscribers - 2007 - 2010
Table 21 - UPC - homes passed - 2003 - 2009
Table 22 - UPC - Subscribers by service type - 2003 - 2009
Table 23 - UPC financial data - 2006 - 2009
Table 24 - T-Kabel cable subscribers - 2002 - 2010
Table 25 - T-Home satelite TV subscribers - 2008 - 2010
Table 26 - Online purchases by individuals - 2005 - 2010
Table 27 - Electronic sales as percentage of total non-VAT turnover for non-financial sector businesses with 10 or more employees - 2009
Table 28 - Take up of e-government services by businesses - 2004 - 2010
Table 29 - Take up of e-government services by individuals - 2004 - 2010
Table 30 - E-education usage by individuals - 2007 - 2010
Table 31 - E-education usage by businesses - 2007 - 2010
Table 32 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2011
Table 33 - Mobile voice market share by SIM cards - 2006 - 2010
Table 34 - 3G network coverage per operator - June 2010
Table 35 - T-Mobile subscribers - 2004 - 2010
Table 36 - T-Mobile financial and operational data - 2004 - 2009
Table 37 - Telenor subscribers - 2004 - 2010
Table 38 - Telenor financial data - 2007 - 2010
Table 39 - Telenor Monthly ARPU and MOU - 2007 - 2010
Table 40 - Vodafone subscribers - 2007 - 2010
Table 41 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2007 - 2010
Table 42 - Total SMS and MMS messages sent - 2002 - 2010
Table 43 - GPRS coverage per operator - June 2010
Table 44 - Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2010
Table 45 - Mobile Internet subscribers per operator - 2009 - 2010
Table 46 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2010 - 2013; 2020
Table 47 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2010 - 2013; 2020
Exhibit 1 - The EU regulatory framework for communications
Exhibit 2 - Access, the local loop and unbundling - an overview
Exhibit 3 - Number portability defined
Exhibit 4 - Carrier selection and carrier preselection overview
Exhibit 5 - The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual E-readiness criteria
Exhibit 6 - 2G spectrum awarded

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