Vodafone Hungary

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Vodafone Hungary
Type Subsidiary of Vodafone Plc
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1999
Headquarters Budapest
Key people Diego Massidda, CEO
Products Prepaid and postpaid mobile phones, Mobile broadband
Website Vodafone Magyarország

Vodafone Hungary, member of the Vodafone Group is a mobile telephone company in Hungary. It started to operate in 1999 after securing the third GSM 900/1800 MHz license of the country and it was the first provider operating in the DCS-1800 band in Hungary. Vodafone is the third largest mobile network operator of the country, and controlling 22,84% of the market as of June 2012.[1]

Diego Massidda Chef Executiv Officer of Vodafone Hungary

Network information[edit]

The IMSI - Network Code of Vodafone Hungary is 216-70 and MSISDN Network Codes are 70 (international: +36 70)

The Display name of Vodafone Hungary: vodafone HU

Vodafone operates a GSM, GPRS, EDGE network on 900/1800 MHz and a HSDPA+ network on 900/2100 MHz. The company has more than 2600 active Base Transciever Station (BTS), and thanks to the modernisation in 2011, the whole network is capable of LTE.[2] The GSM network is covering 98,6% of the country, the 3G network is available on 90,1% of Hungary, as of May 2012.[3]

History[edit]

On 7 July 1999 a consortium formed by V.R.A.M. and Primatel won the third GSM 900/1800 license in Hungary. After signing the license agreement, on 30 November 1999 the consortium launched its network under the Vodafone brand. At that time, it was the fastest network launch in the World. In the first years, Vodafone roamed on its main competitors, Westel (now T-Mobile) and Pannon (now Telenor) networks, while their own network was available only in Budapest and other main cities. At the end of 2002, they covered 90% of the country.

On 30 January 2003 the company launched the Vodafone live! service and in the same year, the customer base of Vodafone topped 1 million.[4]

In December 2004, Vodafone purchased the third 3G license under the 2004 UMTS tender of NHH.[5]

In 2005, Vodafone launched the Vodafone Passport service, which was available in 17 countries at that time. On 16 December 2005 they launched the third 3G network of the country, which was available only in the inner districts of Budapest.[6]

In November 2006, the company offered a new alternative for fixed line telephone users. The Vodafone Otthon service allows customers to combine the advantages of fixed line and mobile telecommunications with one single handset.

In 2008, Vodafone switched to Huawei as a supplier of their UMTS infrastructure.[7] In the same year, the company offered free Vodafone to Vodafone texts or minutes for every prepaid customers after top up their account with 3000 HUF or more.

Vodafone Hungary with Magyar Posta launched the first MVNO operating under the Postafon brand in Hungary in 2009.[8] The operator also tested LTE technology in Budapest. Vodafone also introduced Vodafone Plus postpaid plan, which offered free minutes and texts beyond the inclusive minutes first on the Hungarian market.

In 2011, Vodafone announced the modernization of the network infrastructure.[9] Later that year, Vodafone announced a 50-50% joint venture with Tesco to launch Tesco Mobile in Hungary in 2012. This partnership is the first tie-up between the two company anywhere in the World.[10]

The network modernisation process completed in March 2012. Vodafone, after securing additional bandwidth in the E-GSM band,[11] launched the nation-wide HSDPA+ network, which is available for 9.5 million people in the country. As of July 2012, the 21 Mbit/s capable HSDPA+ network is available on 2432 settlements while the 42 Mbit/s capable DC-HSPA+ network on 101 settlements, including Budapest. The whole network is capable of LTE, although the launch of the service is not yet disclosed.[12]

Sponsorship[edit]

In October 2007, Vodafone signed a sponsorship contract with the Hungarian Water Polo Association and Tamás Kásás. Vodafone Hungary became the main sponsor of the Association when the sponsorship deal was extended by another 4 years in 2009.[13]

The Vodafone Group was the main sponsor of the previously named McLaren Mercedes Formula One team in 2013. Vodafone opened the first Vodafone McLaren Mercedes store of Europe in Budapest in 2010.[14] In that year, Vodafone also made it possible for the logo of Pick Szeged to be displayed during the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix on the McLaren Formula 1 cars.[15] On May 1, 2012 Vodafone brought Formula One to the streets of Budapest. Jenson Button showed what it is like to drive at 172 Mph on a downtown avenue as a part of Vodafone Hungary's 'Raise your game' weekend.

From 2010 to 2011 Vodafone Hungary was the main sponsor of Sziget Festival.

Criticism[edit]

In July 2002, Vodafone announced a flat-rate GPRS internet offer, which provided unlimited internet access for their customers. In 2003, Vodafone changed the terms and conditions of the service and introduced traffic restrictions, which caused many customer to complain to the regulators.[16]

In 2007, the company announced a new flat-rate unlimited internet service on the HSDPA network. The terms and conditions changed later, and Vodafone introduced bandwidth restrictions above 5 GB/month traffic.[17] GVH, the competition regulator in Hungary fined the company.

In 2010, GVH fined Vodafone and T-Mobile. Both company claimed to have 'the fastest mobile data network' in the country without reasonable proof.