Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Monday met Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao to discuss Hungary’s digital development and a new generation of mobile services for industry and the consumer alongside the introduction of 5G, the prime minister’s press chief said in a statement.
The digital economy has produced almost a quarter of Hungarian economic growth in the past few years and government investments in the sector between 2014 and 2021 will have amounted to 130 billion forints (EUR 398.3m), Bertalan Havasi said.
Colao noted that Vodafone is a major UK investor in Hungary which employs 3,200 people in the country and has spent hundreds of billions of forints on developing Hungarian mobile services.
Vodafone Hungary is active in implementing Hungary’s Digital Welfare Programme and the Vodafone Foundation supports the development of digital education in Hungary, he added.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Colao said Vodafone’s acquisition of US telecommunications and television company Liberty Global’s businesses in Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic and Romania was one of the main topics discussed at the talks with Orban.
Vodafone will take over the 1.8 million retail cable and broadband internet subscribers of UPC Magyarorszag as a result of the transaction, he added.
After the Liberty Global transaction is closed, pending approval by the European Commission, Vodafone Magyarorszag’s market share is expected to reach 25 percent in the mobile segment, 24 percent in the fixed line segment and 19 percent in the commercial television segment.
Acquiring and integrating UPC is one of the Vodafone’s most important tasks, Colao said.
The other big task is the rollout of the 5G network in Hungary and the launch of pilot projects, he added.
He noted that he had proposed to Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics establishing a joint research space where local universities and SMEs could test 5G developments and services.
Vodafone will not sell its Hungarian unit in the coming 1-2 years, Colao said. The unit is not for sale, he added.
Featured image: MTI