Technology Infrastructure

Sources: (1),(2)

Telephone

Main Line in Use: 11.8 million (2002) (3)
Mobile/Cellular
Phones:
11.2 million (2002) (4)
Telephone System: General Assessment: Underdeveloped and outmoded system; government aimed to have 10 million telephones in service by 2000; the process of partial privatization of the state-owned telephone monopoly has begun; in 1998 there were over 2 million applicants on the waiting lists for telephone service.
Domestic: Cable, open wire and microwave radio relay; 3 cellular networks; local exchanges 56.6% digital
International: Satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat, NA Eutelsat, 2 Inmarsast (Atlantic and Indian Ocean Regions), and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Overall
Assessment (5):

Since the political changes in 1989, the general telecom policy has focused on the liberalization of the telecommunications market and the extension and integration of existing regulations. The governmental change in 1997 has led to further liberalization of the telecommunications market, which resulted in the privatization of Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (TPSA) and the restructuring of the Polish Post.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications issued licenses for telecommunications networks and services except for services provided by TPSA.

The mobile sector is competitive, with 1 NMT 450 license, 3 GSM licenses and 3 DCS-1800 license granted.
Licenses for 3 long-distance operators were signed by Mr. Tomasz Szyszko, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications on 17 of May 2000. 3 long-distance operators, Netia 1, NG Koleje Telekomunikacja (KT) and Niezalezny Operator Miedzystrefowy NOM, started offering services in 2001. There were disputes of interconnection financial agreements and technical issues of connection points with the incumbent operator TPSA in 2000.
On September 1, 2000 Minister Tomasz Szyszko presented a draft call for tender for the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System UMTS, the third generation mobile telecom services. The aim of this call is to stimulate the country's telecommunications infrastructure development and to ensure that Polish UMTS networks will become an integral part of the quickly consolidating mobile market. Only tenders of three Polish cellular operators have been submitted, so Min. Szyszko decided to cancel the tender and extended existing licenses for mobile cellular telecommunication services.
From 2001, under the new Telecommunications Law, licenses are replaced by authorizations. The Office of Telecommunications Regulation (OTR) is established. The President of the OTR is the competent regulatory authority for telecommunications activities including authorizations, frequency management and monitoring of compliance with the requirements of electromagnetic compatibility. According to privatization agreement with France Telecom, a strategic partner of TP S.A., the dominant operator, the new authorizations for public voice telecommunication services will be issued starting from year 2002. (6)

Radio

Radio Broadcast
Stations:
AM 14, FM 777, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 20.2 million (1997)

Television

Broadcast Stations: 179 (plus 256 repeaters) (September 1995)
Televisions: 13.05 million (2001)
Television
Industry (7):

Cable television infrastructure may be used to provide local voice telephony, data communications, and paging, subject to an individual license. Cable TV companies are allowed to compete with telecommunications operators for the provision of telecommunications services. The cable TV and data communications markets are open. Value-added services companies have a foreign participation limitation of 40%. PTK Polska Telewizja Kablowa Sp. z o.o. (The Polish Cable Television) has received the license for provision of telecommunications services and authorization for the deployment and use of telecommunications networks. This license is for broadband data transmission services through nationwide cable TV networks. The service started in December 2000 in Warsaw and Krakow. Since 2001, the service has been extended to the other large cities. Additionally Internet services will be provided by satellite Wizja TV. It is aimed to provide access to converged services: TV, Internet and telephone through one TV cable.

PTK is the biggest cable TV operator in Poland. @Entertaiment founded it in 1989. United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC) owns @Entertainment. PTK has changed its name to UPC Telewizja Kablowa soon. The level of investment is estimated at 6 million Euro at start and up to 10 million during the next 3-4 years.

EL is the group of telecommunications companies of Elektrim S. A. Group EL provides integrated telecommunication services based on cable TV Aster City Net in Warsaw. Since September 2000 integrated services of fixed telephony, cable TV and broadband Internet have been implemented in Warsaw. The network of aster City Cable is five hundred-sixty thousand homes. EL has invested between 100-130 million Euros to develop telecommunication optical backbone network infrastructure. In 2000 a full modernization and expansion was started. 600,000 home users in Warsaw will access integrated service up to the year 2003. These services will be extended to other Polish cities as well. The fees for integrated services are lower than the fees for standard single services. Internet access is without time limit. Cable TV offer will be expanded to digital TV, video on demand, pay-per-view etc.

The local voice telephony is provided on duopoly basis, i.e., TPSA and only one other operator for local telephony in each local area. There is no foreign investment limitation for local voice telephony. About 70 licenses for local voice telephony have been issued. On 7 June 1999, a local telephony license for the Warsaw area was granted to El-Net, an operator that plans to connect 340,000 subscribers during the next five years. After that grant, the duopoly in the local voice licenses in each region was reached. The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is now offered by several providers. The first operator, which started VoIP in Poland for international connections in December 1999, was Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (ERA GSM). Several providers offer VoIP services already. Scandinavian operatorTELE2 offers domestic and international VoIP services. It offers GAGATEK pre-paid service by fixed telephony network as well.
In December 2000 Polish Phonesat of Elektrim Group signed the agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland for VSAT services for the Polish embassies including satellite telephony services. Polish Phonesat cooperates with EuropeStar and Telenor UK to provide this interconnection.

Internet

(See Diffusion for more information)

Internet Country
Code:
.pl
Internet Service
Providers (ISPs):
19 (2000), 222 (present) (8) - <View Alphabetical list> <View List By City>
Internet Users: 3.5 million (2001)
Public Metropolitan
Computer Networks:
18 <View List>
Type of Internet Connection (9):

Telecommunications Industry

Industry (10): In 2001, over 96% of the Polish telecommunication market, worth approximately PLN 28 billion (USD 7 billion), was taken by the dominant fixed-line operator TPSA (Telekomunikacja Polska, S.A.) and the three mobile phone operators: PTC, Polkomtel and PTK Centerteo, with TPSA alone accounted for over 56% of the market. Practically on national operator, TPSA, services the whole fixed-line telecommunications market. Approximately 5% of the market (in terms of revenue( is controlled by a few dozen independent private operators, who provide services at a local level, generally regarded as not very profitable. There are also three long-distance calls operators. At the beginning of 2002 the three largest private fixed-telephone operators in Poland had only just over 0.74 million subscribers. However, these three managed to attract some two hundred thousand new customers in 2001, almost the same number as TPSA.

Since 1991 the telecommunications network has registered a steady growth rate of approximately 14%. However, it has slowed-down since 2000. In 2001 the fixed line telephone operators increased the number of main lines by 3.7%, bringing the total number to 11.4 million at the end of the year. Approximately 8.5 million of these are in urban areas (1.8% increase) and only some 2.9 million in rural areas (9.9% increase). At the end of 2001 average telephone density, measured by the number of main lines per 100 inhabitants, was 29.4.

Teledensity (11):

 

Regulations and Actors (12)

Liberalization status Comments
Infrastructures:
   
Public telecommunications network:
Partially liberalized market Authorizations will be issued starting from 2002
Local networks for voice telephony:
Limited to a duopoly regime between TPSA and one company in each local area Registration in OTR
Leased lines:
Liberalized market  
Alternative infrastructure (Highway, railways, electricity utilities etc):
Partially liberalized market Tel-Energo - electricity utilities,KOLPAK - railways
Broadcasting and cable TV:
Partially liberalized market Polska Telewizja Kablowa, Aster City
Voice telephony:
   
Local communication:
Liberalized market Over 100 licenses - Full liberalization in 2001
Domestic Long-distance:
Partially liberalized market 3 licenses delivered in 1999
International communication:
TPSA monopoly till 2003 Article 16.1 of the Law on Posts and Telecommunications and TPSA license
Provision of voice services to closed user groups:
Liberalized market  
Mobile communication:
   
Analog:
Partially liberalized market Centertel, license from the Min. of Telecom
GSM digital:
Partially liberalized market Polkomtel PTC, Idea Centertel - licenses from Min. of Telecom.
DCS 1800 digital:
Partially liberalized market Polkomtel PTC, Idea Centertel - licenses from Min. of Telecom.
Paging:
Open with local competition  
Satellite communications:
Open except for international satellite-based telephony, long-distance voice telephony and telegraphy reserved to TPSA  
Data transmissions:
Fully liberalized market Registration in OTR
Value Added Services:
Fully liberalized market Registration in OTR
Internet services provision:
Fully liberalized market Registration in OTR
Equipment provision:
  Lucent Technologies, ZWUT-Siemens, Alcatel

Alternative Networks. Poland Master Report. Feb. 2001. European Union.

SOURCES

(1) The World Fact Book 2002. Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2002. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pl.html . Last accessed October 31, 2002.

(2) Alternative Networks. Poland Master Report. February 2001. European Union. http://www.eu-esis.org/esis2alt/Plalt7.htm Last accessed October 31, 2002.

(3) Kowalska, Maria. Trends in the ICT Sector. US Commercial Service - American Embassy in Warsaw. http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/ocbe/ForeignM.nsf/679c088699b484498525674e0000eb9f/392591742c5b4d0d85256c4800815b25!OpenDocument Last accessed December 9, 2002.

(4) Kowalska, Maria. Trends in the ICT Sector. US Commercial Service - American Embassy in Warsaw. http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/ocbe/ForeignM.nsf/679c088699b484498525674e0000eb9f/392591742c5b4d0d85256c4800815b25!OpenDocument Last accessed December 9, 2002.

(5) Alternative Networks. Poland Master Report. February 2001. European Union. http://www.eu-esis.org/esis2alt/Plalt7.htm Last accessed October 31, 2002.

(6) The Warsaw Voice. http://www.warsawvoice.pl/v668/Business02.html .Last accessed December 8, 2002.

(7) Alternative Networks. Poland Master Report. February 2001. European Union. http://www.eu-esis.org/esis2alt/Plalt7.htm Last accessed October 31, 2002.

(8) ISP in Poland. Bus.Net. http://www.biz.net.pl/english/netprov/prv.html .Last accessed December 8, 2002.

(9) IT & Telecoms Monitor. A Quarterly Market Review: Czech Republic - Hungary - Poland. No 1(1), October 2002. Polish Market Review, Ltd.

(10) How To Do Business In Poland. Prepared by the Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Warsaw, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Economy. Warsaw, July 2002. http://www.unido.pl/pdf/poland2002.pdf. Accessed October 30, 2002.

(11) How To Do Business In Poland. Prepared by the Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Warsaw, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Economy. Warsaw, July 2002. http://www.unido.pl/pdf/poland2002.pdf. Accessed October 30, 2002.

(12) Alternative Networks. Poland Master Report. February 2001. European Union. http://www.eu-esis.org/esis2alt/Plalt7.htm

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