Telecommunications in Hungary include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Early history

A stentor reading the day's news in the Telefon Hírmondó studio

The first telegraph station on Hungarian territory was opened in December 1847 in Pressburg/ Pozsony /Bratislava/. In 1848, during the Hungarian Revolution, another telegraph centre was built in Buda to connect the most important governmental centres. The first telegraph connection between Vienna and Pest – Buda (later Budapest) was constructed in 1850.[1] In 1884, 2,406 telegraph post offices operated in the Kingdom of Hungary.[2] By 1914 the number of telegraph offices reached 3,000 in post offices, and a further 2,400 were installed in the railway stations of the Kingdom of Hungary.[3]

The first Hungarian telephone exchange was opened in Budapest (May 1, 1881).[4] All telephone exchanges of the cities and towns in the Kingdom of Hungary were linked in 1893.[1] By 1914, more than 2,000 settlements had telephone exchange in the Kingdom of Hungary.[3]

The Telefon Hírmondó (Telephone Herald) service was established in 1893. Two decades before the introduction of radio broadcasting, residents of Budapest could listen to news, cabaret, music and opera at home and in public spaces daily. It operated over a special type of telephone exchange system and its own separate network. The technology was later licensed in Italy and the United States. (see: telephone newspaper).

The first Hungarian telephone factory (Factory for Telephone Apparatuses) was founded by János Neuhold in Budapest in 1879, which produced telephones microphones, telegraphs, and telephone exchanges.[5][6][7]

In 1884, the Tungsram company also started to produce microphones, telephone apparatuses, telephone switchboards and cables.[8]

The Ericsson company also established a factory for telephones and switchboards in Budapest in 1911.[9]

Radio and television

See also: Television in Hungary and Local TV channels in Hungary

Hungary has a mix of state-supported public and private broadcasters. Hungary's digital transition has been postponed to the end of 2014.[10]

Radio stations:

Television stations:


See also: Telephone numbers in Hungary

Calling code: 36[10]

International call prefix: 00[11]

Main lines: 3.0 million lines in use, 51st in the world (2012).[10]

Mobile network: 11.6 million lines, 72nd in the world, 117 lines per 100 persons (2012).[10]

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-network service providers has led to a sharp increase in the use of mobile 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).[10]

* Satellite earth stations: 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean regions), 1 Inmarsat, 1 Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) (2011).[10]


Top-level domain: .hu[10]

Internet users:

Internet hosts: 3.1 million hosts, 33rd in the world (2012).[10]

IPv4: 5.5 million addresses allocated, 0.1% of the world total, 550.9 addresses per 1000 people (2012).[14][15]

Fixed broadband

Fixed broadband: 2.3 million subscriptions, 36th in the world; 22.9% of the population, 41st in the world (2012).[12][16]

ADSL appeared in Hungary in 2001 and ADSL2+ in late 2005.[citation needed]

The main broadband Internet providers are: Magyar Telekom (formerly T-Com/T-Online/Matáv), Vodafone (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.[citation needed]

Mobile broadband

Wireless broadband: 2.3 million subscriptions, 61st in the world; 23.1% of the population, 64th in the world (2012).[17]

The mobile broadband providers include:[citation needed]


Magyar Telekom:


DIGI Mobile Hungary:

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.[21]

There are no reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail.[22]

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.[23] An up-to-date list of blocked gambling related sites is published by the Tax and Customs Authority.[24]

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.[22]

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."[22]

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[25] On 29 October, 2014 an estimated 100,000 Hungarians marched in protest of the tax on internet data[26] 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."[26] 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."[27] Government representative Zoltan Kovacs denied the tax was meant to curtail debate not controlled by the ruling Fidesz party[27]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Google Drive – Megtekintő". Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Telegráf – Lexikon". Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b Dániel Szabó, Zoltán Fónagy, István Szathmári, Tünde Császtvay: Kettős kötődés : Az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia (1867–1918)|[1]
  4. ^ Telephone History Institute: Telecom History – Issue 1. page 14.
  5. ^ E und M: Elektrotechnik und Maschinenbau. Volume 24. page 658.
  6. ^ Eötvös Loránd Matematikai és Fizikai Társulat Matematikai és fizikai lapok. Volumes 39-41. 1932. Publisher: Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  7. ^ Contributor Budapesti Történeti Múzeum: Title: Tanulmányok Budapest múltjából. Volume 18. page 310. Publisher Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, 1971.
  8. ^ Károly Jeney; Ferenc Gáspár; English translator:Erwin Dunay (1990). The History of Tungsram 1896–1945 (PDF). Tungsram Rt. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-939197-29-4. ((cite book)): |author3= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ IBP, Inc. (2015). Hungary Investment and Business Guide (Volume 1) Strategic and Practical Information World Business and Investment Library. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-5145-2857-0.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Communications: Hungary", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  13. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  14. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  15. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  18. ^ New Internet package and higher mobile data speed offered in Budapest by T‑Mobile, T-Mobile Hungary.
  19. ^ "Mobile Internet" (in Hungarian), Vodafone Hungary.
  20. ^ "Mobile Internet" (in Hungarian), DIGI Mobile.
  21. ^ "Global Internet Filtering Maps", OpenNet Initiative. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  22. ^ a b c "Hungary", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 8 April 2011.
  23. ^ "Hungarian Media Authority blocks offshore gambling websites", The Budapest Beacon, 15 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Web pages affected by Internet blocking", National Tax and Customs Authority. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  25. ^ "Thousands of Hungarians protest against tax on Internet traffic", Reuters, Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  26. ^ a b "100,000 Hungarians march against 'internet tax'". Retrieved 2023-04-04.
  27. ^ a b Lyman, Rick (2014-10-29). "Proposed Internet Tax Draws Hungarians to Streets in Protest". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-04-04.