Category Archives: Business

Business news from Hungary

Telenor Android Workhop – Focus on Sustainability

Telenor’s fourth Android event scheduled to coincide with the Earth Day focused on sustainable solutions, Telenor Hungary writes in a press release.

Android Workshop Planet revealed how smartphones and their apps can contribute to an environmentally conscious and responsible lifestyle and presented XperiaTM neo, Sony Ericsson’s latest environmentally friendly handset.

Being a responsible company, Telenor is committed to contributing to sustainable growth and raising customer awareness of the options and benefits of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Its strategy focuses on two major areas: reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions and making customers more environmentally conscious. In line with this commitment, Telenor cut its CO2 emission by 7.7% in 2010 compared to the year before. Under the handset take-back programme launched in 2004, Telenor customers have returned more than 81 tons of old and recyclable handsets to date.
Pursuant to an agreement between the European Commission and handset vendors, operators will sell uniform battery chargers for mobile phones starting from 2012. This change will benefit all stakeholders as the price of mobile handsets is likely to decline (as they’ll no longer be bundled with chargers) and the volume of waste will also be lower since households will need only one charger that shouldn’t be replaced even if they buy a new handset.

As a large enterprise and a mobile operator, Telenor wants to set a model for others to follow also in environmental protection. Therefore, it provides its customers with environmentally friendly solutions such as electronic invoices instead of hardcopy ones. This move saves a lot of time, power and fuel. Telenor customers opting for an electronic invoice save 2.2 tons of paper and 40 trees per year today. If all customers moved to electronic invoices, they could save as much as 200 tons of paper and about 3,300 trees per year.

Mobile technology offers many other opportunities for more predictable and environmentally conscious living. Smartphones, for example, can prevent excessive fuel consumption. If you reduce your time spent driving by only 30 minutes, you can save more energy than the annual energy consumption of a mobile operator per customer and the annual power consumption of a mobile handset combined. Companies can use tele- and videoconferencing to eliminate business travel and reduce their environmental footprint. Every 1,000 kilometres of flight saved reduces per capita carbon emission by 120 to 150 kilograms. The required calls can be easily made using a smartphone or a tablet PC.

“Some simple smartphone apps can help make the world a healthier and better place to live. The traffic layer of GPS and Google maps available also in Hungary, for example, helps you avoid traffic jams. This way, you can save time and fuel and reduce your car’s emissions. Virtual products such as e-books are now available also for Android-based handsets. Downloading e-books you can save the energy used for producing and transporting books and spare many trees”, said Richárd Halmay, head of Corporate Responsibility of Telenor Hungary.

Telenor decided to organize its fourth Android event with sustainability in mind to contribute to more environmentally conscious living. At Android Workshop Planet, experts and NGOs presented apps enabling a more responsible lifestyle. The speakers of WWF Hungary and Telenor introduced the role of mobile communications in sustainable growth and in the successful operation of a non-profit NGO.

The event featured also XperiaTM neo, Sony Ericsson’s new smartphone produced in an environmentally friendly way. The handset delivered with less packaging material, an e-manual and a high-efficiency battery charger is member of the vendor’s Greenheart portfolio. It has been manufactured using recycled plastic and waterborne paint. XperiaTM neo offers a combination of Sony’s most state-of-the-art technologies. Its Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA® Engine provides a brilliant view and a crystal clear image, while Sony’s award-winning small screen-optimized Exmor R™ technology enables the user to take good quality photos and HD videos even under dim lighting conditions. The handset offers a special multimedia experience with the new Android Gingerbread release.

Wizz Air Launches flights from Macedonia

Wizz Air, the largest low fare – low cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe announced at a press conference today that it would enter the Macedonian market by opening a new route from Skopje to London-Luton, as of 20 June. The flight will be operated initially three times a week.

József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air said: “As the first low cost carrier in the country, Wizz Air is delighted to offer its services to the Macedonian passengers, who can now enjoy our truly affordable fares coupled with great travel experience all along their journey. Our market entry will boost the passenger traffic and will have an accelerator effect on the local businesses and employment as well. ”
Murat Örnekol, Chief Operations Officer of TAV Airports stated: “We are excited to have Wizz Air, the largest CEE airline, entering Macedonia, and cooperating with Alexander The Great airport in Skopje, operated by TAV, a major global airport company. Our passengers will have the pleasure of cost effective and comfortable flights and we are looking forward to seeing increased passenger traffic.”
All the flights are on sale on wizzair.com with fares starting from as low as EUR 34,99 (one way, all inclusive).
Wizz Air Press Release (www.wizzair.com)

3 girls killed in Budapest disco panic.

The panic incident on Saturday night at the club West Balkan near Nyugati Station resultated in 3 girls dead.

The club had a permission to operate, but only until 22:00 and with a maximum of 300 guests.  Still, according to the Saturday night party’s organizor over 2000 people were in the club when the panic erupted.  The whole incident resulted in people beeing sent out of the club in just their t-shirts.  Several eye-witnesses tell about pushing that started out in the cloak room, where, according to one boy: “Was so full that you didn’t have to keep yourself standing up, as there were people all around, holding you up”.  Many others report about people suddenly tipping over, and with a domino effect taking a huge part of the crowd down, where there were several people on top of each other.  One apparantly affected girl says “It was just so full of people that it tipped over, and then I had to be pulled out by eight people.  I am very grateful for those that helped me”

The clubs owners say that they don’t assume any responsibility, as the location was rented out for a party, and that they were present with their own crew.

According to Hungarian TV station, RTL Klub’s news, the clubs owners had been tricking the local authorities with their license applications by withdrawing them after having submitted them. Then placing their applications at the back of the line and by this they were able to operate freely while the application was in for concideration.

The below videos might give an impression of the panic of the many people trying to exit, as well as the huge crowd wanting to get in:

Hungarian company brings 3D to Las Vegas

As 3D TV believers keep growing, the technical aspects of the 3D TV still has some missing elements.  There’s not enough content, and most people would opt for not wearing glasses for the sake of the 3D experience.  At the CES, the Hungarian company iPont Kft is showing its solutions for exactly these issues.

The 3D is quite popular at the movies, but these films are still not able to break into peoples living room.
One of the minor, of several reasons for this is that the 3D TVs are more expensive than the ones thar are not.  This is because people have always bought expensive, unrelated to weather they were 3D or not, when it comes to viewer comfort, this becomes a new issue.  For viewing 3D movies, you will have to wear 3D glasses, some think they look ridiculous and most think of them as uncomfortable.

Hungarian company iPont, brought 3D content and players to the CES that are viewable withouth 3D glasses.

Korcsok Zoltán, CEO of iPont, says that they are presenting the concept of a product that is ment for the end user of the product, and that they are expecting the interest of large producers.  Adding, that even before the exhibit they received interest from a major television producer.  They are also expecting interest from others, such as TV networks, film studios, cinema chains as well as sport bars.

The device presented is capable of letting the viewer watch channels intended for 3D viewing, withouth 3D glasses.

Google Street View in Hungary?

Jóri András, data protection ombudsman looks to be saying yes to accept the Google Street View into Hungary, given that they agree on the terms he has set up.
Google’s Hungary office is in talks with the ombudsman, but are rather silent about the progress of the talks.

It looks like the strict data protection policy that has in the past years hindered Google to create panoramic street images in European countries. for then presenting them on their Google Maps Street View, is loosening.

Last week the Germans, who have traditionally acted strict in regards of protecting their personal data and photos gave up and now twenty German cities may be viewed in panoramic photos, among them being Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.   The German solution did however only come to life after a comprehensive compromise had been reached, with property owners being individually able to decide whether they wish to have their buildings and gardens appear on the Google Map Street View site, or have their property censored.  As a result the company had to remove 244.000 buildings from the map service,  which means that of 8,5 million German real estate owners about 3 percent chose to hide.  The most ironic example being Google’s own Munich office in Dienerstrasse 12 being  censored out of the Street View.

Pizza Hut out of Hungary?

The first ever Pizza Hut to be opened in Hungary has recently shut its doors.  The business that was located on the corner of Király and Nagykörút  and opened 18 years ago.

Not long ago the chain’s other downtown restaurant in Károly körút was closed.  The company running the chain, Amrest Kft.’s quarterly report tells that the number of restaurants have dropped to two: In Pólu Center and Aréna Plaza.  At the start of this year there were five restaurants.

The food delivery service has also stopped, while it’s still possible to order take away food, it has to be collected at one of the two restaurants.

The very first Pizza Hut opened in 1992 in Hungary.  Besides Budapest, there were restaurants operating in Győr, Pécs, Miskolc and Szeged.  In 2006 a 12 new restaurants were opened in Hungary.  According to the Wikipedia article about it’s Hungarian business at the it’s peak there were 22 restaurants operating throughout the country.   According to Amrest’s 2006 report they started the year of 2006 with 12 restaurants, but since then they have been closing one after the other.

An interesting note might be that the number of KFC restaurants, also operated by Amrest Kft. has grown.