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