Hungary pledges state support for 5G build-out with spectrum auction slated for July

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The country’s Innovation & Technology Minister says government will cooperate with service providers in 5G rollout.

The Minister, Laszlo Palkovics, said this would speed deployment. Hungary wants 5G services at major industrial sites in 2020 — an approach with similarities to that taken by Orange in France, which is focusing on industry use cases first – and to cover all big cities and main transport routes by the middle of the next decade.

The main mobile players in Hungary are Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary, Magyar Telekom, Vodafone and Telenor.

Palkovics said it could cost operators up to 700 billion forints (€2.6 billion) to deploy enough 5G antennas to support national coverage.

According to Reuters, he added, "The state has to play some role in the construction of 5G network infrastructure, otherwise it could be slow. If we co-ordinate this with service providers, the build-up of the infrastructure can be faster."

National strategy

The Ministry plans to submit a national 5G strategy to the government by mid-July, Palkovics said.

Earlier this week, Hungarian telecoms regulator NHMM published the draft documentation for the sale of more than 400MHz of 5G spectrum this year.

It has invited comments on its proposed sale of licences for 700MHz, 2100MHz, 2600MHz and 3600 MHz bands by 8 July and intends to begin the auction that month.

Palkovics said that Hungary intended to conclude the auction for 5G frequencies faster than the one in Germany, where the 5G mobile spectrum auction raised €6.55 billion dragged out over took 52 days.

Auction open

The auction is open to all the companies that meet the criteria laid out by the regulator. Winners will be licensed to use the spectrum for 15 years, with the option to renew for another five years.

As the 700 MHz band is in use for TV, that frequency band will only be available for 5G from September 2020.