Poland’s Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has announced that it will award wireless frequencies in the ‘E-GSM’ radio band to mobile network operator P4 and newcomer Aero 2, which pledged one-off payments of PLN217 million (USD75.4 million) and PLN223 million (USD77.5 million) respectively. Each 2×5MHz nationwide concession requires the winner to launch commercial services in the 880MHz–890MHz and 925MHz–935MHz bands within 24 months of UKE’s decision, and also stipulates network population coverage of at least 30% by the end of 2009, 55% by the end of 2010 and 80% by end-2012. P4 and Aero 2 are also obliged to allow mobile virtual networks operators (MVNOs) wholesale access to their networks. In September it was reported that seven companies had submitted offers in the tender for GSM-900 frequencies, including established cellcos Orange Poland (Centertel), PTC, Polkomtel and P4, as well as Aero 2, CenterNet and Arbit.
In a separate announcement, as of 1 January 2009, the regulator is lowering the spectrum fees paid by rural wireless internet providers, from PLN125 (USD43.40) to PLN10 per 1MHz covering a single commune, in rural communes, and PLN25 in ‘rural-municipal’ communes. In ‘municipal communes’ and municipal counties, the fee will remain at PLN125.