Mobile and fixed-line telephony
We provide mobile telephony services mainly through our subsidiary Polkomtel, Plus network operator. Polkomtel is one of the leading Polish mobile telecommunications network operators. As at December 31, 2019 we provided 10.3 million mobile telephony services in both the postpaid and prepaid models.
We offer a comprehensive array of mobile telecommunications services under the established umbrella brand ‘Plus’ and our additional brand ‘Plush,’ as well as under the brands belonging to Aero2 company and under the ‘Netia’ brand. Our offer includes retail services, comprising contract and prepaid voice services, as well as data transmission services encompassing basic mobile broadband services, MMS, value added services such as entertainment, information and comprehensive convergent telecommunication services for large businesses. Additionally, our mobile telephony offer is complemented with a wide portfolio of handsets and smartphones, including devices which support LTE and LTE Advanced technologies. Our retail mobile telephony offering is addressed to individual and business customers, including major corporate accounts, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) segment.
We provide fixed-line telecommunications services under the ‘Netia’ and ‘Plus’ brands based on the infrastructure of our subsidiary Netia, which operates based on both own telecommunications infrastructure and access to the infrastructure of Orange Polska. The dedicated retail offering of fixed-line telephony offered under the ‘Netia’ brand includes both business customers, including institutions, medium and large enterprises and small companies, as well as residential customers.
Mobile broadband Internet
In 2011, we were the first commercial service provider in Poland to launch an LTE-based broadband Internet access service. At present, our LTE Internet and HSPA/HSPA+ Internet cover practically all population of Poland. Since 2016 we have been offering our customers services in the LTE Advanced technology. This technology is being successively developed, as demonstrated by our launch of the 256 QAM and MIMO 4x4 modulation, which allows for increased transmission speed while using the same radio band. We are also pursuing aggregation of bands in two, three and, selectively, four frequencies which further contributes to increasing the capacity of our network, thus making our mobile Internet faster and more stable. Thanks to the applied technological solutions, the speed of our LTE Advanced Internet ranged from 300 Mbps to 500 Mbps in over 300 locations. Furthermore, the tests of download transmission speed conducted in Białystok on aggregated four bands along with modulation allowed us to achieve data transfer speed above 600 Mbps. As at December 31, 2019, we provided 1.9 million mobile broadband Internet access services, mostly in the contract model.
In January 2020, we started the roll-out of the first in Poland commercial 5G network which will operate using the 2600 MHz TDD frequency. For the network’s needs the Group has allocated unique spectrum resources owned in this band, which offer the possibility of achieving data transfer rates in excess of 500 Mbps while using MIMO 4x4 and QAM256 technologies.
We provide a comprehensive array of mobile broadband Internet access services to both residential and business customers under three alternative brands: ‘Plus,’ ‘Cyfrowy Polsat’ and ‘Netia.’ We offer broadband Internet in both the contract and the prepaid model. Moreover, thanks to our LTE Internet access service combined with the set Home LTE Internet we can offer customers a product that constitutes a substitute for fixed-line Internet. Additionally, pursuant to the provisions of the concession related to the purchase of the 2600 MHz TDD band, our subsidiary Aero2 provides free of charge Internet access services, however with limited parameters (BDI offer).
Our offering is complemented by a portfolio of dedicated devices (modems, routers, tablets, laptops, ODU-IDU sets, etc.), that support LTE and LTE Advanced technologies. Such a wide offering allows us to address the needs of customers, who are interested in using mobile broadband Internet for its mobility as well as those customers, who want to substitute fixed-line Internet access at home or in the office.
Fixed-line broadband Internet
Through our subsidiaries Netia and Polkomtel we also provide fixed-line broadband Internet services, among others in fiber optic technologies. Fixed-line services are being rendered via own access networks with approximately 2.7 million homes passed, out of which, as at end of December 2019, over 1.4 million were within the reach of broadband Internet with transmission speed of 1 Gbps. Netia’s own network reaches approximately 180 locations and is supported by an extensive, nationwide backbone infrastructure. Moreover, we offer fixed-line Internet services based on access to Orange Polska network.
We provide fixed-line broadband Internet services to both residential and business customers.
Services to individual customers are sold mainly in bundles with TV and telephony services, including a mobile offering. The service offering is supplemented by a number of value added services which support ARPU levels and loyalty of the customer base. Netia Spot, a wireless Wi-Fi router, and Netia Player, an innovative multimedia set-top box with access to a variety of TV channels, VOD services, Internet apps and the possibility to open own multimedia files, constitute part of a home multimedia platform which uses broadband Internet access for distribution of content to members of a household.
Broadband Internet access services for business customers are offered in fiber optic, Ethernet, xDSL and HFC technologies. They are part of a wide range of services, including traditional fixed-line telephony solutions (analogue and ISDN access), the latest IP telephony services with hosted PABX (Next Generation Network – NGN technology), Unified Communications services, video communications (video conference services in HD quality), wholesale messaging, lease of digital lines, VPN and Ethernet networks, and data center services which are addressed to companies using Internet in business solutions, running portals and news services.
As part of our wholesale business we provide services to other telecommunication operators. These services include network interconnection, texting (SMS) and MMS traffic routing, national and international roaming, services to MVNOs, shared access to network assets and lease of network infrastructure.
Our telecommunication infrastructure used in interconnection cooperation enables us to effectively manage telecommunication traffic routing to all operators domestically and abroad.
Shared access to network assets and lease of telecommunications infrastructure
As a consequence of significant capital expenditures and acquisitions carried out in the past our Group has an extensive telecommunications infrastructure, which allows us to handle constantly increasing usage of telecommunication products and services. In order to optimize costs of maintenance of our infrastructure, we share access to network assets and lease components of our network infrastructure from and/or to other telecommunication providers on the Polish market. Within the Group we run projects which benefit from telecommunications infrastructure owned by our entities, thus gaining synergies by the replacement of the infrastructure leased from the third parties with the assets possessed by the Group’s companies.
Within our wholesale business we provide international roaming services to foreign mobile operators that allow customers of foreign mobile telecommunications network operators to use mobile telecommunications services (voice calls, texting and data transmission) when logged to Polkomtel network and outside their home network. We also enter into international roaming wholesale agreements in order to provide, both to our own customers and the customers of MVNOs operating on our network, international roaming services in the networks of our roaming partners.
Cooperation with roaming partners represents a major part of sales in Polkomtel’s wholesale channel. We offer the wholesale roaming service over our own network to foreign operators under discount agreements in exchange for favorable terms offered by foreign partners for the handling of roaming traffic generated by our customers, who use roaming services abroad. This translates into a reduction of costs of wholesale international roaming services incurred by Polkomtel and therefore enables us to provide competitively priced international roaming services to both our own customers and customers of MVNOs who operate on our telecommunications network.
Virtual operators (MVNOs)
We provide operators present in Poland with wholesale access to Polkomtel’s mobile telecommunications network based on different models of cooperation.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are operators who provide mobile telephony and packet data transmission services, as well as fixed-lined telephony services based on Polkomtel’s networks in a model in which Polkomtel provides access to its mobile network, exchange of interconnection traffic to/from MVNOs’ customers and other possible forms of wholesale support to operations of MVNOs. As a rule, this type of cooperation is used by operators who do not own complete technical infrastructure required to provide telecommunications services (including frequency allocations). During such cooperation operators take advantage of each party’s strengths: Polkomtel’s high quality nationwide network and its support in servicing telecommunications aspects of MVNO operations and dedicated offerings, marketing and sales under own brand of the MVNO wholesale partners.
As part of the cooperation with MVNOs, we provide wholesale services including voice calls, text messaging and packet data transmission (including MMS services), premium rate services, value-added services, international roaming, services provided to specific governmental authorities and agencies, hosting services on Polkomtel’s billing platform, customer support, handling claims of MVNOs’ customers, access to SIM cards, telephone devices and Polkomtel’s telephone card recharging sales channels as well as other services, depending on the needs and selected technical model of cooperation.
Polkomtel was the first mobile operator in Poland to open its network to MVNOs (in 2006).