Poland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts
Fibre infrastructure expected to have accounted for 41% of total telecom investment in 2014
Poland’s mature and liberalised telecom market has seen considerable development in the broadband and mobile sectors. The privatised incumbent, rebranded as Orange Poland, has benefited from its parent company’s technical experience and know-how in the region. The regulatory environment has been shaped by EU principles designed to facilitate competition, and which has allowed a significant number of competing operators to enter the market. Recently this extended to opening Orange Poland’s fibre network to access and pricing regulation.
The mature fixed broadband market, one of the largest in Eastern Europe, benefits from excellent cross-platform competition given the ubiquitous DSL infrastructure and extensive cable networks. DSL remains the most popular fixed broadband access platform, followed by cable services which are provided by a number of well-established cable TV operators. Fixed-line access is also available via FttX, and though this remains limited to a number of urban areas there is considerable support from the government and the European Union to fast-track fibre-based networks across the country. Mobile broadband in the most popular platform by subscribers, the result of mobile network operators having invested in infrastructure during the last few years, combined with the greater availability of sophisticated devices.
Poland’s mobile market is benefitting from continued investments in LTE networks. By the beginning of 2015, mobile penetration was about 152%, among the highest levels in the region and reflecting the popularity among consumers for keeping two or more SIM cards. With about 58 million subscribers, the market has room for 26 licensed operators, including 19 MVNOs. The relatively high number of network operators is indicative of market consolidation in coming years, as has been seen in other European markets. LTE networks are now widespread, and coverage is expected to improve markedly into 2015 following the regulator’s multi-spectrum auction.
Government creates Ministry of Administration and Digitalisation to oversee telecom sector development; Landis+Gyr develops delivers smart meters in Warsaw; Telecommunications Act amended; Deutsche Telekom acquires GTS Central Europe; Orange Poland revenue decline prompts outsourcing and disposal strategy; time taken for number portings reduced to one day; Orange Poland begin 1,800kms fibre network build; regulator enforces EC’s access and price ruling on Orange Poland’s fibre network; Orange tests Fibre-to-the-Distribution-point (FttDp) technology; Liberty Global sells Aster network to Netia; Toya deploys 1Gb/s FttP network; regulator signs off co-financing e-Services project; memorandum signed for constructing a national broadband infrastructure; cablecos step up network investment; Cyfrowy Polsat acquires Polkomtel; bundled services taken by 2.4 million customers; Netia buys Aster’s infrastructure from UPC Poland; incumbent predicts phase-out of single-play fixed-line telephony by end-2015; regulator accepts six bidders for second stage of auction in the 800MHz and the 2.6GHz bands; Polkomtel trials LTE-B technology; PTK Centertel adopts Orange brand following merger with Telekomunikacja Polska; regulator signs 800MHz usage agreement with Ukraine; regulator eases cuts in MTRs in exchange for network investment; regulator’s 2013 market data report; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q3 2014; recent market developments.