In a statement, it says that the contract of the current service provider Antenna Hungária (AH) expires in the autumn of 2020 and it has invited comments and opinions from market participants by March 26. According to its plans, the winner of the tender must ensure that public service TV and radio channels, free of charge, must remain available in good quality after 2020 at no additional cost.
NMHH notes that AH has held the right to operate a national DTT network in Hungary since 2008. There are currently five DVB-T networks operating between 470-790 MHz in the UHF band, offering 12 free TV and 47 pay-TV channels, as well as four public service radio channels.
Although the operational rights for the existing networks will expire on September 5, 2020 and the related subscriber contracts will be aligned to this, NMHH will start the tendering process one and half years before this in order to ensure the least disruption to the prospective service provider and viewers. The winner of the tender will be able to build and operate five networks from September 6, 2020 for 12 years.
NMHH notes that it will still be able for the provider to operate five networks despite some of the spectrum being allocated to 5G services. Furthermore, three of the networks will employ the DVB-T2 standard.
Unlike the two existing DVB-T networks, these three DVB-T2 ones will have to be in operation within six months of September 5, 2020.
There will be a final call for proposals in April, with the winner expected to be announced in June.