High-speed mobile Internet for everyone - decision of President of UKE - UKE

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High-speed mobile Internet for everyone - decision of President of UKE

Magdalena Gaj - Prezes UKE
On 23 June 2016, the President of UKE completed proceedings launched in response to the requests for re-examination of the frequency licence decisions issued on 25 January 2016 as a result of an auction ended in October 2015.


- Just a few years ago when someone built a house, one of the main factors to choose the location was the availability of utilities such as electricity, water and access roads. Today our search starts with asking questions about access to high-speed Internet. Not that long ago, i.e. 24 years ago, in June 1992, mobile telephony was launched in Poland. And no one even thought of using it for high-speed mobile Internet transmission.

Today we have completed one of the most important processes for the mobile market in recent years. To use a transportation parallel: so far we have travelled bumpy local roads and from now on we can spin along high-speed digital highways. Thanks to those frequencies we will be soon able to download a movie in 10 minutes, irrespective of our location, which only several years ago could take as long as 150 hours.

A few years ago, no one offered HD live broadcasts of the Polish national football team matches. Today it is a common standard for thousands of football fans who benefit from LTE frequencies.

All our activities serve the goal that the citizens have the best mobile access to the Internet. Thanks to investment obligations imposed on telecommunications undertakings everyone in Poland will be able to enjoy high-speed mobile Internet access. Only since February almost 4,000 mobile base stations have been developed or upgraded based on these frequencies.

Today I have completed the most important process over the recent years that opens a new stage in mobile Internet development in Poland
– said Magdalena Gaj, President of the Office of Electronic Communications.

Having re-examined the cases and assessed the whole evidence again, taking account of the fact that:
•    by its letter of 25 January 2016 (received by UKE on 28 January 2016) Netnet sp. z o.o. withdrew its request of 26 October 2015 for the E frequency licence,
•    as a result of Netnet sp. z o.o. withdrawal, in the light of the Telecommunications Act, T-Mobile Polska S.A. became the selected entity by virtue of the law,
the President of UKE found that the most effective means of distributing the frequencies would be to assign them in such a way that the entity selected for two frequency licences in the 800 MHz band as a result of auction receives two neighbouring licences allowing it to use the frequencies in a continuous frequency block with a total bandwidth of 10 MHz (duplex).

Due to this fact and taking account of the existing situation in this case the President of UKE found that it was optimal to assign the frequencies in the 800 MHz band after an auction in the way as indicated in the table below:

Frequency licence    Band    Frequency range    Block    Entity
A frequency license    800 MHz    791-796 MHz and 832-837 MHz    A5    Orange Polska S.A.
B frequency license    800 MHz    796-801 MHz and 837-842 MHz    A4    Orange Polska S.A.
C frequency license    800 MHz    801-806 MHz and 842-847 MHz    A2    P4 Sp. z o.o.
D frequency license    800 MHz    806-811 MHz and 847-852 MHz    A3    T-Mobile Polska S.A.
E frequency license    800 MHz    811-816 MHz and 852-857 MHz    A1    T-Mobile Polska S.A.

The assessment of the President of UKE shows that such assignment will allow effective use of the assigned frequencies because aggregation of frequencies, for technical reasons, allows the entities to provide telecommunications services with better quality characteristics.

It is worth mentioning that such assignment of the frequencies is in line with the practice of those European countries which have assigned the frequencies in the 800 MHz band. In each of the European countries the NRA sought to assign spectrum for one entity in continuous frequency blocks.

In respect of the frequency licences in the 2.6 GHz band the President of UKE has not made any adjustments in the originally granted frequency licence decisions. Those decisions maintained in force and so the assignment of frequencies in the 2.6 GHz band looks in the following way:

Frequency licence    Band    Frequency range    Block    Entity
F frequency license    2.6 GHz    2500-2505 MHz and 2620-2625 MHz    B14    Polkomtel Sp. z o.o.
G frequency license    2.6 GHz    2505-2510 MHz and 2625-2630 MHz    B13    Polkomtel Sp. z o.o.
H frequency license    2.6 GHz    2510-2515 MHz and 2630-2635 MHz    B8    Polkomtel Sp. z o.o.
I frequency license    2.6 GHz    2515-2520 MHz and 2635-2640 MHz    B6    Polkomtel Sp. z o.o.
J frequency license    2.6 GHz    2520-2525 MHz and 2640-2645 MHz    B12    Orange Polska S.A.
K frequency license    2.6 GHz    2525-2530 MHz and 2645-2650 MHz    B7    Orange Polska S.A.
L frequency license    2.6 GHz    2530-2535 MHz and 2650-2655 MHz    B3    Orange Polska S.A.
M frequency license    2.6 GHz    2535-2540 MHz and 2655-2660 MHz    B10    T-Mobile Polska S.A.
N frequency license    2.6 GHz    2540-2545 MHz and 2660-2665 MHz    B9    T-Mobile Polska S.A.
O frequency license    2.6 GHz    2545-2550 MHz and 2665-2670 MHz    B5    T-Mobile Polska S.A.
P frequency license    2.6 GHz    2550-2555 MHz and 2670-2675 MHz    B1    P4 Sp. z o.o.
R frequency license    2.6 GHz    2555-2560 MHz and 2675-2680 MHz    B4    P4 Sp. z o.o.
S frequency license    2.6 GHz    2560-2565 MHz and 2680-2685 MHz    B2    P4 Sp. z o.o.
T frequency license    2.6 GHz    2565-2570 MHz and 2685-2690 MHz    B11    P4 Sp. z o.o.

Entities which have been granted frequency licences have so far paid PLN 7 180 270 000 in total to the State Treasury, i.e. the following fees:
•    for licences in the 800 MHz band - in total: 6,569,350,000 PLN.
•    for licences in the 2.6 GHz band - in total: 610,920,000 PLN.
Due to granting the E frequency licence to T-Mobile Polska S.A. as a result of re-examination of the case, the company has to pay to the State Treasury the amount equal to PLN 2,022,000, 000 within 14 days following the delivery of the decision.

In accordance with the auction commitments entities which have been granted a frequency licence are obliged to start using the frequencies and offering the services on commercial basis not later than within:
•    12 months of the delivery of the frequency licence for the 800 MHz band,
•    36 months of the delivery of the frequency licence for the 2.6 GHz band.
In addition, entities which have been granted a frequency licence are obliged to fulfil their investment commitments in the 800 MHz band, i.e. to invest in the telecommunications network covering approximately 80 per cent of Poland's territory.

Areas covered with investment obligations:
type of coverage    number of communes    Ref No. of Annex to Decision    time limit for commitment fulfilment    content of Annex    remarks
"white areas"    1149    Annex no. 2    24 months    communes and test points    different annex for each of the 5 licences
communes up to 30,000 (without "white areas")    1053    Annex no. 3    36 months    communes    identical annex for each licence
communes from 30,000 to 50,000 (without "white areas")    91    Annex no. 4    48 months    communes    identical annex for each licence
IN TOTAL    2293               
ALL POLAND    2479               

It is worth pointing out that until now telecommunications undertakings have been authorised to use nearly 3800 devices based on frequencies in the 800 MHz band, which is reflected by the data below:

No.    Operator    Number of devices
1    Orange Polska S.A.    950
2    T-Mobile Polska S.A.    594
3    P4 Sp. z o.o.    2246
Operators in total    3790
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