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Poland - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years until 2018.
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Researcher:- Paul Kwon Current publication date:- November 2009 (8th Edition) Next publication date:- November 2010


One of the larger Eastern European nations, Poland is defined by as an upper middle-income country by the World Bank. Since its transition to a market economy Poland has experienced sustained economic growth, assisted by its accession to the European Union which is now its main trading partner. Like many of its neighbours, Poland was affected by the recent global financial turmoil through declining demand for its exports, a slowdown of credit activity, and lower foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. However the country is expected to fare well given its relative strength in terms of unemployment, inflation, current account, external debt as well as relatively sound and well-capitalised financial system. The IMF expects Poland’s GDP to contract slightly during 2009 before recovering in 2010.  

Poland’s telecoms market underwent reform to align telecommunications policy with that of the EU. Competition has been introduced but incumbent operator Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TPSA) retains a major share of the overall telecoms market. Ongoing action by an active regulator has improved market conditions, particularly in the network access sector.  

Despite relatively low penetration, Poland’s fixed broadband market is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. Broadband represents the majority of Internet connections; ADSL is the most popular fixed broadband access platform followed by cable due to Poland’s well-established cable TV operators. Fixed broadband access is also available via FTTx and wireless. An emerging Internet society is taking shape, encompassing commerce, health and government services.  

Poland’s broadcasting market is transforming under the weight of competition and technological convergence; Broadcasting network operators and telecom service providers have launched competing triple play offerings. Digital TV is widely available via cable, satellite, broadband TV (IPTV) and terrestrial TV; with a number of new market entrants leading to increased competition.  

Poland possesses a well developed mobile market with high mobile ownership levels although penetration levels suggest multiple SIM card ownership. Four mobile network operators offer services along with a number of mobile virtual network operators. Average Revenue per User levels have stabilised after falling in recent years due to retail tariff competition and the take up of mobile services by lower spending consumer segments of the market. Also placing pressure on ARPU levels are regulatory-enforced cuts in mobile termination rates for all three SMP mobile network operators. All four mobile network operators offer 3G services, with mobile broadband and content the new growth market given low penetration of existing mobile data services.  

Key highlights:

  • The incumbent continues to struggle in the face of competition, characterised by stagnant growth in both top line revenue and bottom line profit. Resistance to developing the wholesale market led the regulator to commence functional separation proceedings in early 2009.
  • Broadband represents the majority of Internet connections. The incumbent dominates the broadband market through its ADSL offering. Competition in the ADSL market based on wholesale offerings is poor, characterised by almost non-existent take up of unbundled local loops and shared access lines.
  • More success is visible in the bitstream access market due to the regulator’s imposition of a retail-minus price methodology, guaranteeing a certain level of profit margin for alternative operators relative to the incumbent’s retail ADSL offering.
  • Infrastructure based competition is strongest from Poland’s well-established cable TV operators, which have upped the ante by launching DOCSIS 3.0-based broadband offerings with speeds of up to 120Mb/s. A number of FTTx networks have been deployed although take up to date has been minor.
  • Digital TV is widely available via cable, satellite, IPTV and DTTV, with healthy competition in the cable and satellite markets. Cable operators offer triple play services and a once cosy duopoly in the satellite pay TV market has been shaken up with five operators now in operation, leading to the rollout of new products and services. DTTV broadcasts officially commenced in September 2009 on the first multiplex, with a total of three to be deployed.
  • Poland’s mobile market is served by three well established mobile network operators and a relatively new market entrant. A number of MVNOs have also entered the market; despite their numbers their impact on the overall market in terms of revenue and subscribers is minimal. The regulator has worked to improve competitiveness in the mobile market by setting asymmetric mobile termination rates favouring the new market entrant.
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Poland key performance indicators - 2008 - 2009
Sector | 2008 | 2009 (e) |
Broadband |   |   |
Fixed broadband subscribers (thousand) | 5,042 | 6,600 |
Fixed broadband penetration rate | 13.2% | 17.4% |
Subscribers to Telecoms Services |   |   |
Fixed-line telephone subscribers (thousand) | 10,000 | 9,700 |
Mobile phone subscribers (thousand) | 43,900 | 44,000 |
| (Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
 

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics
2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Poland’s telecom market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 History
3.1.1 Telecommunications Law 2004
3.1.2 EU Regulatory Framework
3.2 Regulatory authority
3.2.1 Office of Electronic Communications (UKE)
3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Poland
3.3.1 Local
3.3.2 Long-distance
3.3.3 International
3.4 Privatisation
3.5 Interconnection
3.6 Carrier selection and carrier preselection
3.7 Access
3.8 Number Portability
4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Market overview
4.1.1 Fixed-line operator statistics
4.2 Telekomunikacja Polska (TPSA)
4.2.1 First half 2009 results
4.3 Netia
4.4 Telefonia Dialog
4.5 Telekomunikacja Kolejowa
4.6 GTS Energis
4.7 Exatel
5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 National telecom network
5.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
5.1.2 TPSA
5.1.3 Alternative operators
5.2 Telecoms & IT
5.2.1 Overview
6. Wholesaling
6.1 Overview
7. Internet Market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Poland’s emerging Internet society
7.2.1 E-commerce
7.2.2 E-government
7.2.3 E-health
8. Broadband Market
8.1 Overview
8.2 Fixed broadband statistics
8.3 Cable broadband
8.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
8.6 Wireless broadband
8.6.1 WiFi
8.6.2 WiMAX
8.6.3 Internet via satellite
8.7 Broadband forecasts - 2009 - 2012; 2018
8.7.1 Scenario 1 - higher broadband subscriber growth
8.7.2 Scenario 2 - lower broadband subscriber growth
9. Convergence
9.1 Overview
9.2 Overview of broadcasting market
9.2.1 TP Emitel
9.2.2 TVP
9.2.3 Telewizja Polsat
9.2.4 TVN
9.3 Digital TV (DTV)
9.3.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
9.3.2 Cable TV (CATV)
9.3.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
9.3.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
10. Mobile Communications
10.1 Overview of Poland’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Significant Market Power (SMP)
10.2.2 GSM licences
10.2.3 Third Generation licences awarded
10.2.4 Fourth GSM licence/fourth 3G licence auction
10.2.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.2.6 EU roaming tariffs
10.2.7 Mobile termination rates
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Digital
10.3.2 Third Generation mobile
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 PTK Centertel/Orange
10.4.2 Polkomtel/Plus GSM
10.4.3 Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC)/Era
10.4.4 P4/Play
10.4.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid cards
10.6 Mobile data services
10.6.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.6.2 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.6.3 Mobile broadband
10.6.4 BlackBerry
10.6.5 Mobile TV
10.6.6 Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 Overview
10.7.2 Mobile music
10.7.3 Off-deck content
10.7.4 M-commerce (micropayments)
11. Glossary of Abbreviations
Table 1 - Country statistics Poland - 2009
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - 2009
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - 2009
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2009
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - March 2009
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - TPSA interconnection rates - 2006 - 2008
Table 8 - Fixed line market share per operator - January 2009
Table 9 - Fixed line market revenue breakdown by call type - 2006 - 2008
Table 10 - TPSA group revenue breakdown by service - 2008
Table 11 - TPSA group financial data - 2006 - 2009
Table 12 - TPSA fixed-line voice traffic market share - 2005 - 2008
Table 13 - Netia financial data - 2006 - 2009
Table 14 - Exatel financial data and annual change - January - June 2009
Table 15 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995; 1997; 1999; 2000 - 2009
Table 16 - IT market revenue - 2004 - 2008
Table 17 - Wholesale lines by type - January 2009
Table 18 - Cost of local loop unbundling and share access - 2006 - 2008
Table 19 - Internet users, subscribers and penetration rates - 1996 - 2009
Table 20 - Internet penetration among businesses - 2004 - 2008
Table 21 - Percentage of businesses receiving orders online - 2004 - 2008
Table 22 - Online purchases by individuals - 2005 - 2008
Table 23 - Uptake of e-government services by businesses - 2004 - 2008
Table 24 - Uptake of e-government services by individuals - 2004 - 2008
Table 25 - Fixed broadband subscribers by access type - January 2009
Table 26 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2001 - 2008
Table 27 - Fixed broadband ISP market share by users - January 2009
Table 28 - Fixed broadband lines by speed - January 2009
Table 29 - Cable broadband market share by revenue - January 2009
Table 30 - TPSA ADSL subscribers - 2003 - 2009
Table 31 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 32 - Forecast fixed broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario - 2009 - 2012; 2018
Table 33 - UPC - homes passed - 2003 - 2008
Table 34 - UPC - subscribers by service type - 2003 - 2008
Table 35 - Multimedia Polska - blended ARPU - 2008 - 2009
Table 36 - Multimedia Polska financial data - 2008 - 2009
Table 37 - Aster subscribers - June 2009
Table 38 - Satellite TV and pay satellite TV subscribers - 2002 - 2008
Table 39 - Cyfrowy Polsat financial data - 2004 - 2009
Table 40 - Cyfrowy Polsat operational data - 2004 - 2009
Table 41 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2009
Table 42 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2009
Table 43 - Average monthly ARPU levels - 2003 - 2013
Table 44 - PTC financial and operational data - 2005 - 2008
Table 45 - Ratio of prepaid to postpaid subscribers - 2003 - 2008
Table 46 - Orange prepaid subscribers - 2003 - 2009
Table 47 - PTC prepaid subscribers - 2005 - 2008
Table 48 - Polkomtel prepaid subscribers - 2005 - 2008
Table 49 - Value of mobile data and content services - 2005 - 2009
Table 50 - Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate - 2004 - 2008
Table 51 - Mobile broadband market share per operator - January 2009
Exhibit 1 - The EU Regulatory Framework for communications
Exhibit 2 - Access, the local loop and unbundling - an overview
Exhibit 3 - 2G spectrum awarded in Poland
Exhibit 4 - Mobile Virtual Network Operators - January 2009
Exhibit 5 - BlackBerry services defined

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