Public pay phones - UKE

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Public pay phones

The President of the Office of Electronic Communications presents the results of an analysis of the market for telephone services provided by means of public pay phones. 

 

  

Introduction to the analysis of public pay phones

According to Article 81 (1) of the Telecommunications Act of 16 July 2004 telecommunications telephone services provided by means of public pay phones are part of universal service.

By her decision of 15 November 2006 the President of UKE defined a minimum number of public pay phones to be installed in the whole area of Poland by Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (TP) as an undertaking designated to provide universal service. The minimum number of public pay phones, including the number of phones adapted to the needs of disabled users, within the area of particular communes should be equal to one public pay phone per 950 inhabitants, including one public phone adapted to the needs of disabled users per 2000 inhabitants.

After 2 years TP may file a request for changing the minimum number of public pay phones, provided that the state of telephony and the demand change and the company will show a significant fall in the profitability of telephone services provided by means of public pay phones.

The President of UKE has analysed the market for telephone services provided by means of public pay phones, and in order to get a full picture of this market, the analysis has not been restricted to the services provided by TP but other telecommunications undertakings have been asked for relevant information as well.

  

The full text of an analysis of public pay phones is available in Polish.

  

Main conclusions from the analysis of public pay phones

Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. has a major share in the market for public pay phones. Its share amounts to 94.5 % while that of the remaining undertakings is equal to 5.5%. Telefonia Dialog ranks second after TP in terms of the number of public phones with its market share amounting to almost 3% and Netia S.A. is third with its market share of 1%.

The market for public pay phones can be characterised by a constant declining tendency. The revenue from telephone services provided by means of public pay phones dropped drastically in 2006 compared to 2004 (within the period of two years), i.e. by more than 55%, while the number of phones dropped by 4% within the same period.

The drop in revenues was caused by low demand of subscribers for telephone services provided by means of public pay phones. Consumer surveys show that the percentage of people who have not used a public pay phone for the last year was 81% in 2005 and grew to 83.1% in 2006. Unfavourable changes have also taken place with respect to the frequency of usage. Users tend to call by means of these phones less frequently.

This is due to:

  • wider accessibility of mobile telephony. According to UKE data more than 96% of people in Poland had a mobile phone in 2006, and over 99% in July 2007. This number is constantly growing and forecasts show that it will continue to grow;
  • cheaper and cheaper mobile calls.

  

Unfavourable changes also occur with respect to the frequency of usage even among public pay phones users:

  • the percentage of people who hardly ever or almost never use public pay phones is growing (46.7% in 2005 and 54% in 2006),
  • the percentage of those who use these services once a month (21.1% in 2005, 18% in 2006 out of those who used public pay phones at all) or more often than once a month (29.7% in 2005 and 28% in 2006) is slightly declining.

  

Due to low demand for services provided by means of public pay phones telecommunications undertakings do not intend to increase the number of public pay phones but rather reduce their number by withdrawing unprofitable phones. This is caused by rapid decline in revenues from telephone calls made by means of public pay phones.

Among undertakings with the biggest share in the market for public pay phones only Netia S.A. notes profits from the provision of these services. This is possible thanks to:

  • substantial reduction in the number of public pay phones (withdrawal of unprofitable phones). Only in 2006 Netia S.A. withdrew nearly 400 public pay phones;
  • the highest charges for national phone calls made by means of public pay phones compared to the charges of other undertakings with the biggest number of public pay phones.

In conclusion it must be said that due to continuing unfavourable trend in the market for services provided by means of public pay phones, these services are no longer popular. The highest burden related to their provision rests on Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. due to its dominant market share and an obligation to provide the minimal number of public pay phones. TP S.A. must provide circa 41,000 public pay phones in the entire area of Poland as part of universal service.

  

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    INTRODUCTION
    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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