MPVI Mobil, a Hungarian state-owned company that was set up to become the fourth player in the mobile market, has decided to suspend its operations in an attempt to minimise costs, until such time as an opportunity arises for it to launch, or a decision is made on its future, MTI–Econews reports the National Development Ministry as saying. At a meeting of the company’s state-owned shareholders last Thursday, Magyar Posta, the Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) and the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB), all decided to effectively ‘mothball’ the start-up.
MPVI Mobil won the single largest allocation of frequencies in the auction held in January 2012. However, in February this year Hungary’s highest court, the Curia, annulled the mobile frequency auction, adjudging that the tender was ‘unlawful’, upholding a previous ruling from the Budapest Metropolitan Court and following an appeal by rival telecoms operators against the original licence award. The decision threw the newcomer’s business plans into chaos and soon after it announced it was considering laying off some of its reported 64 members of staff in the near future. Ahead of the outcome of the court hearing, MPVI Mobil also accepted the resignation of its chairman and chief executive Istvan Kalmar and Pal Schmidt. The newcomer saw its efforts to launch bogged down in the court system after its licence award was nullified by the metropolitan court in September last year. The court called for the whole auction process to be repeated and in November 2012 local press rumours suggested that the government had already given up on its plan to launch a new market entrant.