Hungary’s National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH) revealed that 50,000 outdated mobile phones were traded in its replacement programme in the last seven months, an initiative in preparation for the shutdown of 3G networks.
In a statement, NMHH detailed nearly 60% of trade-ins were 2G phones and almost 40% were 3G capable, which were swapped for 4G or 5G enabled devices.
Around 70% of device exchanges were made at independent stores, and 30% were purchased at retail locations of mobile network operators.
The regulator launched its trade-in subsidy programme in February. The original deadline for the programme was April 30 which was extended to March 2023, resulting in a “significant” increase in purchases.
Deutsche Telekom-owned Magyar Telekom completely shut down its 3G network on June 30, while Vodafone and Yettel began disconnecting their respective networks in May with the aim of full shutdowns by the end of March 2023.
NMHH warned for subscribers to continue using internet services they must switch to 4G and 5G devices. Voice and text users will not be affected as this is carried on 2G networks.