Telecommunications market in Poland from 2005 to 2009 - UKE

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Telecommunications market in Poland from 2005 to 2009

Comparison of key indicators


Value of the telecommunications sector
The value of the market (measured by revenues generated by telecommunications undertakings from telecommunications activities amounted to some PLN 42.2 billion at the end of 2009, which means growth by 12 per cent compared to 2005 (PLN 37.7 billion).

Internet access market
The value of the Internet access market amounted to some PLN 4.07 billion at the end of 2009, which means growth by more than 137 per cent compared to 2005 and by almost 51 per cent compared to 2007. Between 2005 and 2009, the number of fixed Internet lines grew by approximately 155 per cent (from 2.02 million to 5.16 million).
The number of xDSL lines at the end of 2009 amounted to more than 2.8 million, which means growth by 130 per cent compared to 2005.
The number of cable TV lines supporting the Internet grew by more than 202 per cent: from 520,000 in 2005 to 1.5 million in 2009.
At the end of 2009 some 2.1 million users used mobile Internet access. This number refers to the users who used for this purpose GSM modems operating in the 2G/3G network.
TP with its market share of 36.7 per cent is a leader as regards Internet access provided by means of fixed lines.
The situation in the retail Internet access market has significantly changed during the last couple of years mainly thanks to the development of services offered by means of cable and wireless modems in mobile networks. The analysis of Internet access users market as a whole reveals the following structure:

  • TP - 27 per cent,
  • mobile operators - 27 per cent,
  • cable operators - 20 per cent,
  • other ISPs (including BSA) - 25 per cent.

In 2009, almost 442,000 customers used the services of alternative operators provided by means of TP lines (BSA) while in 2006 there were only 59 such customers.
At the end of 2009 the incumbent unbundled 51,614 local loops and subloops. The service was launched in 2007, when only 76 loops and subloops were unbundled by the end of that year.

In 2009, the price for 1 Mbit/s service in TP amounted to PLN 64.9 and PLN 59 in Netia, the largest alternative operator. The price for 16 Mbit/s in Netia was PLN 149, while in TP 10 Mbit/s was worth PLN 140. 1 Mbit/s offered by UPC cost PLN 50 and by Vectra PLN 60.
Taking account of the price of 1 Mbit/s as offered by operators in 2005, the prices for Internet access on average fell in the range from 52 per cent (TP and Vectra) to 65 per cent (Netia). 

Mobile market
The value of the mobile market measured by revenues of operators from retail services amounted to some PLN 18.6 billion.
The penetration as of the end of 2009 was more than 117.4 per cent, which translates into 44.8 million active SIM cards and growth by 53 per cent compared to 2005. At the end of 2005 there were only three mobile network operators (PTC, PTK Centertel, Polkomtel) active in the mobile market. At the end of 2009 there were 18 entities, including 6 MNOs (P4, Centernet and Mobyland in addition to the former ones) and 12 MVNOs.
The market share of P4 Sp. z o.o. grew to reach almost 8 per cent in 2009 in terms of the number of users. The market share of the remaining market players (MVNO and two MNOs) did not exceed 1 per cent.
Compared to 2005, a decline in the prices for mobile telephony was observed. The prices for services in 2009 maintained at the average level of PLN 0.48 for calls made, PLN 0.19 for SMS and PLN 2.38 for 1 Mbit/s of data transmission. For comparison, in 2005 the average price of a one-minute call at peak hours for individual subscribers was PLN 0.66 and the average price for SMS was PLN 0.42, which means a drop by more than 27 per cent for one-minute call and by almost 55 per cent for SMS.

Fixed Market
Throughout years 2005-2009 the decrease of the income from retail fixed telephony services has been observed. It totalled to 45 per cent. The absolute value of this income amounted to PLN 11.6 billion in 2005 and PLN 6.4 billion in 2009.
In 2005 the fixed telephony penetration reached the highest level of 31.3 per cent. Within next few years it has been decreasing 1-2 percentage points a year, and in 2009 it amounted to 25 per cent.
The number of all subscription lines (analogue, ISDN) owned by the telecommunications undertakings in 2005 amounted above 11.8 million and in 2009 9.6 million. This implies a decrease of 19 per cent in comparison with 2005.
The market share of alternative operators in the fixed telephony market increased from 17 per cent in 2005 to over 28.9 per cent in 2009 with regard to income, and from 10 per cent to almost 27 per cent with respect to subscription lines.
The traffic volume (the whole amount of minutes of outgoing connections) in the fixed telephony in 2009, compared to 2005, decreased of 45 per cent, while the traffic volume in the mobile telephony increased of over 2020 per cent. This tendency indicates that there exists a phenomenon of substitution of the voice services in the fixed telephony with the services of the mobile telephony.
In comparison with the year 2005 the decrease of the price per minute of local, long-distance and international calls have been noted. The average value of the price basket for the average-talking clients (1,200 minutes a year) in 2009 equaled to PLN 749. For comparison, the value of this basket in 2005 amounted to around PLN 1,972, which indicates a drop of 61 per cent.
The share of income from the subscribers and installation within the whole structure of income increased, at the expense of the income from the connections, in comparison with 2005 of around 10 percentage points and equaled 58.3 per cent. Telephony by the means of the VoIP technology gains importance. The number of subscribers in 2009 amounted to 0.5 million users and was 2.5 times higher than in 2005 (individuals using the VoIP technology through communicators were not taken into consideration, as such connections are free of charge).

The whole capital expenditures (expenses; taking into consideration the non-tangible and legal values, such as for example computer programs) borne by the telecommunications undertakings, excluding the expenses for research and development, licence and frequency charges) in the telecommunications sector at the end of 2009 amounted to PLN 7.5 billion, which constitutes the increase of 26 per cent in comparison with 2005, and only 2 per cent in relation to 2008.
In 2009 capital expenditures of Telekomunikacja Polska and three biggest mobile telephony operators (PTC, PTK and Polkomtel) dropped (in comparison with 2005) decreased by over 29 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Netia S.A. noted the increase of investments, comparing to 2005, as high as 120 per cent, while the Dialog S.A. investments decreased within the same period of time by 41 per cent. The increase of comparable value to Netia (118 per cent) noted the UPC cable television operator.

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