Poland Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: May 2024

Report Pages: 267

Polish MNOs step up closure of 3G networks

Poland’s liberalised telecom market has seen considerable development in the broadband and mobile sectors. The incumbent telco, Orange Poland, dominates the broadband market and has invested in fibre infrastructure to support the growing adoption of bundled services among customers.

The regulatory environment has encouraged market competition, partly by enabling operators to secure spectrum and also by ensuring access to cable and fibre infrastructure. Government policies such as the POPC, which aims to improve broadband connectivity in underserved rural areas of the country, have made a considerable impact, as have a range of wholesale access agreements made between telcos themselves.

The mobile market in recent years has been characterised by the rapid extension of LTE and 5G networks, and the development of mobile data services based on newly released and re-farmed spectrum. The regulator’s attempts to auction spectrum in a range of bands has been delayed, with spectrum in the 5G-suitable 3.4-3.8GHz range having been put back to later in 2023 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and changes to legislation.

Mobile penetration in Poland is above the European average, though this partly reflects the continuing popularity among consumers to keep two or more SIM cards, which has distorted the real mobile penetration rate. Nevertheless, the distortion has been addressed on two fronts: by network operators being encouraged to disconnect dormant SIM cards, and by legislation which obliges subscribers of prepaid services to register their details. These conditions have resulted in a significant readjustment in the number of subscribers in the market.

The market has effective competition from four MNOs, and has room for many MVNOs, a good number of which are small operators with marginal market share. ARPU has been adversely affected by retail tariff competition and by regulatory mandated reductions in mobile termination rates and roaming tariffs. Roaming revenue was deeply affected by the decline in international travel in 2020, though with the lifting of restrictions there was a rapid recovery in the sector.

The fixed broadband market has benefited from excellent cross-platform competition, with comprehensive DSL infrastructure complemented by extensive cable networks and a growing fibre presence. Commercial considerations meant that fibre was for some years restricted to a number of urban areas, though more recently the sector has received considerable financial support from the government and the European Union. This support is aimed at building fibre-based networks across the country (particularly in eastern areas) and promoting fibre connectivity to end-users. As a result, the proportion of broadband subscribers receiving a service of at least 100Mb/s has increased sharply in recent years.

This report covers key aspects of Poland’s developing telecom market, presenting data and analyses on market operators, fixed-line networks and technologies, and the key regulatory developments. The report reviews the fixed broadband market, including an assessment of technology platforms and recent market developments. In addition, the report profiles the main mobile network operators, and analyses recent regulatory measures and spectrum auction results, and evaluates LTE deployments and operator strategies for 5G.

Key developments:

  • Telecom regulator planning to amend spectrum holdings in the 900MHz band to provide four contiguous blocks for concession holders.
  • Orange Poland aiming to shut down 3G network progressively from late 2023 to 2025, launches a 2Gb/s service covering 2.7 million premises.
  • Regulator consults on the award of 3.4-3.8GHz spectrum for 5G, expected later in 2023.
  • Play secures a PLN5.8 billion loan, contacts Nokia and Huawei to build its GPON network to cover an additional two million premises with GPON.
  • T-Mobile Poland shuts down its 3G network.
  • Iliad Group aiming to phase out UPC Poland brand.
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data report for 2021, State Statistics data updates for 2021, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2023, updated Telecom maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

CenterNet, Polkomtel (Plus), T-Mobile Poland, P4/Play, Mobyland, UPC Poland, Orange Poland (Telekomunikacja Polska), Netia, Aster, Multimedia Polska, Vectra, Telefonia Dialog, GTS Energis, Exatel, Telekomunikacja Kolejowa.

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