Telekom has started the nationwide 3G disconnection

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As part of the modernization of the mobile network, Magyar Telekom started to phase out the UMTS service at the national level, and the spectrum released in this way will be reallocated to new generation technologies at the company. The process known as refarming in the professional language may become decisive, especially at the dawn of the deployment of 5G networks, where service providers allocate the limited spectrum available to them to a newer, much more efficient system to increase capacity or coverage.

Refarming, in particular, has been a widespread phenomenon in the industry since regulators explicitly emphasized in spectrum sales procedures that licensed spectrum could be used in a technology-neutral way by service providers, and that newer network technologies could no longer rely solely on mobile internet services. They also provide IP-based voice transmission (eg VoLTE)

3g cells on top of an office building in Budapest in 2010 (photo: hwsw)

Telekom is not the only service provider It performs refarming in the 1 GHz UMTS band, while the first domestic mob a company that communicates the potential effects of the phasing out of 3G networks to its subscribers. Thus, according to the information subpage on the service provider's website

Telekom no longer plans to make further investments in its 3G network, and due to network rationalization reasons, the size of its service area covered by 3G will decrease by 10% from July 2020.

The company recommends that those who only have a 3G-capable phone change their device as soon as possible for “4G network-like experience speed”, and if they have a 4G phone and for some reason 4G access is turned off, change the network access in the device menu. An unspecified, small percentage of subscribers may even have a SIM that cannot be used to establish a 4G connection with 4G-capable devices, in which case customers can take advantage of the free SIM replacement option.

Magyar Telekom has a total of 5 5 MHz duplex frequency blocks in the relevant 2.1 GHz frequency band, of which three were previously for UMTS services, and two were acquired by the National Media and Communications Authority at its frequency auction, which closed this autumn and began last autumn. We know that, depending on the district, the service provider has previously gradually reduced the frequency band used for UMTS service, so there are still areas where the operator provides 3G service using only one block instead of the original three.


The service provider will certainly reallocate the spectrum thus released to 5G services, with dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) with 4G support. This technology has already been successfully deployed in Germany, Poland and Austria by Deutsche Telekom's subsidiaries, increasing the coverage of 5G networks spectacularly and rapidly. However, the former UMTS bands cannot provide significantly faster access than LTE networks due to the already narrower spectrum and the lack of antenna enhancements (massive MIMO and beamforming) widely used in the pioneering 5G bands.

More on the elimination of 3G technology We also asked Telekom a question, the answers of the service provider will be added to our article later.


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