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Unstoppable networks: they are coming at the speed of gigabytes both in the fixed and mobile technology - October 15., the Hungarian Internet Day

Budapest, October 15, 2017 09:00

It was slightly more than two and a half decades ago that the first data package arrived at Hungary and now in areas covered with cutting-edge optical networks as much as 1.000 Mb/s is available on the fixed network. This is 18,000 times higher than the initial dial-in internet speed. Parallel with the unstoppable development of the fixed line technology the available bandwidth is also increasing to serve the changing needs of consumers, i.e. to connect to the internet in homes simultaneously with an increasing number of devices.

On October 15 we celebrate the Hungarian Internet Day: This was the day in 1991 when the first computer of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Computer Technology and Automation Research Institute connected to the internet. This was the day when the first Hungarian internet address, the was created on the “historic” IP address of However, in the coming few years only the academic and university sphere had access to the internet. The commercial services had to wait for years: Telekom’s legal predecessor (former name: Matáv) started to offer the dial-in modem and internet access service in 1997. One could use the dial-in device to send and receive faxes and the download of a single megabyte - depending on the modem - took between one and a half and three minutes. Compared to this the ISDN connection doubled the speed and at the turn of the century ADSL was made available offering 384 kbit/s download speed which is only a fraction of the download speed values offered today.

In 2001 Telekom’s predecessor had 133 thousand fixed line internet subscribers which was a great achievement as the number of users increased with 40% within a single year. This was the year when the Hungarian mobile internet service was launched under the name of WAP (wireless application protocol). At the then available speed (9.6 kbit/s) it took more than one hour to download a single MP3 file, nevertheless, it was suitable to read news and emails. The WAP technology was introduced in Hungary by Telekom (and T-Mobile’s predecessor) Westel and in 2003 the company was the first in the world that introduced the commercial MMS (Multimedia Message Service) service to forward images, text and voice messages. SMS messages were sent through the traditional mobile network while MMS was transmitted via mobile internet.

The bulk rollout of broadband was started with 3G, the third generation mobile net, that was introduced in 2005 in Hungary and three years thereafter the first iPhone, the iPhone 3G, was available in T-Mobile’s portfolio. Since then mobile internet use has been continuously developing in Hungary. Years before Telekom’s launch of the 4G service in 2012, Ericsson and Telekom jointly presented the capabilities of the new technology that now has a 98.4% outdoor residential coverage in the magenta operator's network. What's more, today the 2-300 300 Mbit/s nominal maximum speed mobile internet service (4G+) is also available to almost 30% of the Hungarian population.

The breakthrough of the fixed line internet was in 2004 when ADSL became a mass-market product then in 2005 it gained new momentum by making the internet service available through cable TV networks. In 2008 there were more than 700,000 broadband subscribers on Telekom’s network - mainly using ADSL or cable services. In the same year Telekom announced that the company started to develop new generation optical and cable networks and in December 2008 almost 5000 households had access to the optical network (maximum 25 Mbit/s download and 5 Mbit/s upload speed). Thanks to Telekom’s intense network development efforts launched in the spring of 2015 now more than 2,9 million households have access to high-speed fixed line broadband internet. Out of these 700,000 households have access to the gigabit speed optical network where customers can use Telekom’s highest speed (1.000 Mbit/s (=1 Gbit/s) offer. With the unstoppable development of the fixed line technology the available bandwidth is also increasing to serve the consumer need to connect with an increasing number of devices to the internet.

The increase of speed is taking huge steps in mobile technology, too. Last year in November Telekom and Ericcson Hungary showcased 1.200 Mbit/s download speed with the use of the 4G+ mobile technology.  Besides, the preparation for the next generation, 5G, has already been started. This June Magyar Telekom was among the founders of the 5G Coalition, established to enhance the cooperation between the government, the stakeholders of the industry and scientists and within the frame of the program the company started to build its 5G mobile communication test network in the automotive industry test track in Zalaegerszeg.