BMI View: Poland fell to third position in our Risk/Reward Ratings in Q2 2013 as slowing subscription growth and declining mobile ARPUs impacted its score. Despite this decline, we maintain our view that the market has a strong outlook for new services, particularly the demand for data. Fixed and mobile operators are competing to cater to broadband demand via infrastructure investments, with strong growth both in terms of smartphone users and dedicated data services. Meanwhile, multi-play operators are becoming the norm in Poland, providing a wealth of cross-platform content and fuelling the demand for high-speedinternet services over wireline and wireless platforms.
- Only Orange had reported Q412 data at the time of writing, with net additions of 137,000, and a bias towards prepaid growth.
- Orange's Q412 data reinforced the trend of ARPU declines as cuts to mobile termination rates took a toll on revenues. Previously, declines remained strongest for T-Mobile to Q312, which concentrates on marketing services on the prepaid platform. This brought down the market share weighted average to PLN36 in Q312, down 10.2% y-o-y.
- Poland has fallen behind Czech Republic and Turkey in BMI's Risk/Reward Ratings for Q2 2013 as a result of a declining score in the industry rewards category.
Key Trends And Developments
Wireless data service coverage for rural areas received a boost with the award of 1,800MHz licences for the provision of LTE services in February 2013. T-Mobile Poland and Play secured new spectrum licences, which are valid until end-2027, in an auction for the 1,800MHz frequency bands. T-Mobile won two lots for PLN453mn (US$146.48mn), while Play acquired three 5MHz lots for PLN498mn (US$161.03mn). The operators are required to build 3,200 base stations within two years, 50% of which will be in rural or lowpopulation areas. The expansion into less densely populated areas will complement investments by Polkomtel, Cyfrowy Polsat and the other NFI Midas Group companies, which saw Polkomtel's LTE coverage reach 50% of the population by January 2013.
In January 2013 the amendment to Poland's telecommunications law, signed in December 2012 by President Komorowski, came into effect. The amendment brought the law in line with EU norms. Among the regulations introduced are a requirement for service providers to inform customers if they exceed their data usage limits, to provide clear and accessible breakdown of tariffs and charges and to only offer contracts upto a maximum length of two years. The amendment also states that the maximum length of time an operator can retain a user's data is 12 months, down from 24 months previously.