Today, two Polish mobile network operators, CenterNet and Mobyland, launched the first commercial long-term evolution (LTE) network in Central Europe utilising the 1800 MHz frequency band. So far, LTE networks have only been commercially launched in three other countries: in Sweden and Norway, by TeliSonera; and in Uzbekistan by both MTS and UCell (owned by TeliaSonera).
The Polish mobile telephony market is already highly competitive, with four established market participants: PTK Centertel (Orange), Polkomtel (Plus), PTC (Era) and P4 (Play). The entrance of two new mobile network operators, CenterNet and Mobyland, did not seem to drastically change the market environment. Both operators acquired spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band in 2007 and started to develop their GSM networks. The main strategy of both operators was to focus on exploring underpenetrated market niches.
Click here to see full article
Recently, CenterNet and Mobyland have been acquired by Aero2 - the 7th Polish MNO, which has been developing its HSPA+ network for over a year and also owns the frequencies for LTE roll-outs. "By consolidating the resources of these three players, Centernet,Mobyland and Aero2 developed the capacity to compete with the four main market participants," says Edyta Kosowska. "The launch of services based on an LTE network is likely to become a serious competitive weapon, especially on the mobile broadband market in Poland."
CenterNet and Mobyland plan to have 700 LTE base stations in operation by the end of 2010, with the network likely to cover almost 20% of the population in Poland by this time. Such a rapid network roll-out is possible due to the qualities of the infrastructure developed by the operators and provided by Huawei. The infrastructure enables the network upgrade by making software changes, without upgrading the hardware. This influences the total cost of investment, as well as the speed of deployment. Additionally, the frequency band used by the operators, which allows the reception of higher network coverage by one base station, increases the attractiveness. "This is especially important in Poland where the biggest demand for high speed broadband currently comes from the rural areas," adds Edyta Kosowska. "Consequently, broadband services based on LTE, are likely to compete not only with mobile but also fixed broadband alternatives."
CenterNet and Mobyland plan to position themselves as wholesale operators. The companies are likely to provide access to their network, including advanced value-added and multimedia services via an MVNO model.
Edyta Kosowska is a Research Analyst for Frost & Sullivan's Telecoms group, ICT Europe. She focuses on monitoring and analyzing market growth, emerging trends and technologies across ICT markets in Central and Eastern Europe.
Source: Cellular News