The Hungarian telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority (NHH), has opened the tender for four 15-year 3G licences by calling for pre-bid consultations. Bids are due in by midday 2 November, with the winners expected to be announced on 1 December. The winners will each be required to pay an initial fee of HUF5.5 billion by the end of the year. Terms of the concessions state that licensees must launch services by January 2006 in Budapest, and must have 30% population coverage by the start of 2008. Hungary’s three 2G operators – T-Mobile Hungary, Pannon GSM and Vodafone – are all widely expected to table bids, while the NHH claims that five other companies have expressed an interest in acquiring the fourth concession. If the tender fails to attract a newcomer, the licence will not be offered for a further two years.
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