Telecommunications in Hungary
Telecommunications in Hungary include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.
Radio and television
Hungary has a mix of state-supported public and private broadcasters. Hungary's digital transition has been postponed to the end of 2014.
- 3 state-supported public-service radio networks and 2 major national commercial stations; a large number of local radio stations including commercial, public service, nonprofit, and community stations (2007);
- 17 AM, 57 FM, and 3 shortwave stations (1998).
- the 3 publicly owned and 2 privately owned TV stations are the major national broadcasters; a large number of special interest channels; about two-thirds of viewers utilize satellite and cable TV services (2007);
- 35 plus 161 low-power repeaters (1995).
Main lines: 3.0 million lines in use, 51st in the world (2012).
Mobile cellular: 11.6 million lines, 72nd in the world, 117 lines per 100 persons (2012).
Telephone system: modernized and capable of satisfying all requests for telecommunication service; digitized and highly automated system; trunk services are carried by fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay; a program for fiber-optic subscriber connections was initiated in 1996; competition among mobile-cellular service providers has led to a sharp increase in the use of mobile-cellular phones since 2000 and a decrease in the number of fixed-line connections; fiber-optic cable connections with all neighboring countries; the international switch is in Budapest (2011).
- 7.2 million users, 47th in the world; 72% of the population, 45th in the world (2012);
- 6.2 million users, 41st in the world (2009).
The main broadband Internet providers are: T-Home (formerly T-Com/T-Online/Matáv), Chello (UPC), Invitel, Externet, Emitel, Monortel, Pantel, TVnet, TvNetWork, VIVAnet, and DIGI. Smaller providers, such as TigerNet or HDSnet, are mainly available in the city of Budapest.
The mobile broadband providers include:
- Services: LTE/HSDPA/3G/EDGE/GPRS solutions to use your cell phone to connect to the Internet.
- Technologies: WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access or "UMTS"), CDMA 2000, CDMA TDD.
- Availability: 3G service available in major cities: Budapest, Miskolc, Nyíregyháza, Debrecen, Veszprém, Pécs, Siófok, Szombathely, Tatabánya, Székesfehérvár, Kecskemét, Győr, Szeged.
- Services: LTE/3G/GPRS solutions to use your cell phone to connect to the Internet.
- Availability: 3G service available in many towns.
Internet censorship and surveillance
There is no OpenNet Initiative (ONI) country profile, but Hungary is shown as no evidence of filtering in all areas (political, social, conflict/security, and Internet tools) on the ONI global Internet filtering maps.
On 15 July 2014, at the request of Hungary's National Tax and Customs Authority, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority temporarily blocked access to seven gambling-related sites for three months. An up-to-date list of blocked gambling related sites is published by the Tax and Customs Authority.
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and of the press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.
European Commissioner Kroes, NGOs, and the foreign press raised concerns that provisions of the new media laws requiring balanced reporting and registration of media outlets lacked clear limits and could be interpreted to include blogs. The government and the National Media and Infocommunication Authority (NMHH) argued that, in practice, blogs would be exempt from these requirements on the basis that they are not considered "business endeavors."
Internet tax and protests
In October 2014, thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest against a planned new tax on Internet data transfers, which they said would not only increase the tax burden but would also curb fundamental democratic rights and freedoms. The draft tax bill contains a provision for Internet providers to pay a tax of 150 forints (60 U.S. cents) per gigabyte of data traffic, though it would also let companies offset corporate income tax against the new levy On 29 October, 2014 an estimated 100,000 Hungarians marched in protest of the tax on internet data Internet developer Zsolt Varady addressed the marchers, saying "The internet tax is a symbol of the government's despotism...We not only need to defeat the tax, we need to believe that we are capable of criticising and influencing the state." One-time socialist party member and critic of the tax, Balazs Gulyas who inspired the week of growing protests from Facebook said, "This is limiting free access to the Internet and information...It is an attempt to create a digital iron curtain around Hungary." Government representative Zoltan Kovacs denied the tax was meant to curtail debate not controlled by the ruling Fidesz party
- This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2014 edition".
- "Communications: Hungary", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
- "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
- Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
- Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
- "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Mobile Broadband", Telenor Hungary.
- New Internet package and higher mobile data speed offered in Budapest by T‑Mobile, T-Mobile Hungary.
- "Mobile Internet" (Hungarian), Vodafone Hungary.
- "Global Internet Filtering Maps", OpenNet Initiative. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- "Hungary", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 8 April 2011.
- "Hungarian Media Authority blocks offshore gambling websites", The Budapest Beacon, 15 July 2014.
- "Web pages affected by Internet blocking", National Tax and Customs Authority. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Thousands of Hungarians protest against tax on Internet traffic", Investing.com, Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- 100,000 Hungarians march against 'internet tax' World's first internet levy fuels accusations Hungarian government of Viktor Orban is undermining democracy By Matthew Day, Telegraph.uk.co Warsaw 3:23PM GMT 29 Oct 2014 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/hungary/11195733/100000-Hungarians-march-against-internet-tax.html
- Proposed Internet Tax Draws Hungarians to Streets in Protest By RICK LYMANOCT. 29, 2014 WARSAW New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/30/world/europe/hungarians-march-against-proposed-tax-on-internet-use.html
- NIC.hu, Network Coordination Center, including:
- Council of Hungarian Internet Providers (CHIP); .hu domain registration; Budapest Internet eXchange (BIX); Statistics; and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
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