Analysis of active SIM cards - UKE

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Analysis of active SIM cards

karta SIM
The President of UKE presents an analysis on market saturation with mobile telephony services in Poland.


The purpose of this study is to present data on the number of SIM cards and the level of market saturation with mobile telephony services depending on the methodology of data collection and processing.  

The analysis includes the total number of SIM cards, the share of pre-paid and post-paid cards in that number and active pre-paid cards, i.e. cards that had been used for making or receiving  phone calls, sending or effectively receiving SMS/MMS or for data transmission during the last three months.

The study covers the number of mobile telephony clients (without distinguishing between access technologies) using telecommunications services:
  • in the pre-paid segment, where payment is made in advance of the service provided,
  • in the post-paid segment, where payment is made after a specific settlement cycle (including mix offers).

The analysis shows that there are certain inconsistencies in data collected by different entities on the number of active SIM cards in the Polish market. Those differences to a large extent result from adopted definitions and methodologies. The criterion of the user's activity has most impact on those divergences.

For the total number of SIM cards differences in market saturation reach some 16 percentage points. The total number of users ranges, depending on the data source, from 50.2 million to 56.6 million. In addition, certain inconsistencies can be observed with regard to current trends in the market. The data collected by the President of UKE and the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) indicates that there has been a change in market trends. After stable growth in the number of users, the year 2015 saw a slight decline. This trend is not however reflected in the European Commission data and the Analysis Mason data.

The analysis also shows that exclusion of inactive SIM cards has a significant impact on the level of market saturation and the number of SIM cards. The calculations of UKE show that there were more than 8.8 million so called "dead souls" or users who had not made or received any calls, sent or received any SMS/MMS, connected to the Internet via their mobile for the last three months. A similar correlation was observed in June 2012, when 8.6 million SIM cards reported by the operators were those which had not been used for at least three months. So, over the three years, the discrepancy between the volume of actually used cards and the cards noted in the operators' databases has remained on a similar level.
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    The President of the Office of Electronic Communications (President of UKE) is the national regulatory authority for the market of telecommunications and postal services. The President of UKE is also the specialised authority in the area of equipment conformity assessment, including telecommunications terminal equipment and radio equipment.

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