Hungary’s fibre subscriber base broaches 300,000

Economic background

Poorly executed fiscal policies since the beginning of the century resulted in a high state budget deficit which successive governments have tackled through introducing austerity measures, lower state spending and increased taxes. The government’s ‘crisis tax’ levied on telecom sector revenue has been criticised by the EC as unfair to foreign-owned telcos, while the Court of Justice may be asked to intervene in early 2013 to have the tax repealed. GDP was estimated to have fallen 1% for 2012, with stagnation recorded in about half of national industries, though that for ICT has grown slightly.

Telecom market overview

Dominated by international players including Telekom Deutschland, Telenor, UPC and Vodafone, Hungary’s telecom sector remains attractive to outside investors. The overall market, particularly the mobile and broadband sectors, became more dynamic after Hungary joined the EU in 2004. Membership saw an injection of funding as well as regulatory oversight. Although liberalisation has meant that there are numerous active players, the various sectors are served by a few key operators.

Broadband market

Hungary enjoys high broadband penetration compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. DSL and cable remain the dominant access platforms though FttX has emerged as a key focus for future growth, while the 51% growth in the mobile broadband subscriber base in the year to September 2012 illustrates the potential for services and revenue from that sector in coming years. Cable networks are being rapidly upgraded with DOCSIS3.0 technology, so enabling players to offer bundled services.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013

Sector

2010

2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):
Fixed broadband subscribers 1.91 2.19
Mobile broadband 1.0 2.9
Mobile phone 12.01 11.80
Fixed-line telephony 2.93 3.02
Penetration by sector:
Fixed broadband 20% 25%
Mobile 120% 118%
Fixed-line 33% 31%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • The early-2012 auction for spectrum in the 900MHz band generated HUH43.9 billion for the government. A part-government owned consortium introduced a new market entrant to compete against the triopoly of T-Mobile, Telenor and Vodafone.
  • LTE services launched by T-Mobile in 2012 augur well for mobile broadband developments during the coming years, particularly with deployment in the 900MHz band which will be effective in rural areas hampered by poor fixed-line infrastructure. The remaining MNOs plan to launch services later in 2012 and 2013.
  • DTTV services are available to 95% of the population. Although legislation initially set ASO for the end of 2011, with the process undertaken regionally, the government has delayed it to the end of 2014 depending on related amendments to the New Media Act. Both Romania and Bulgaria have also put back their ASO dates.
  • The fibre sector has shown the strongest growth in the fixed broadband market, with the number of subscribers broaching 300,000.

 BuddeComm’s annual publication, Hungary – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in one of Eastern Europe’s more progressive countries. The report includes the regulator’s market data to October 2012, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2012, and market developments to November 2012.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Hungary – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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