Poland’s Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has announced that the winners of the 1800MHz spectrum auction earlier this year will be authorised to offer wireless broadband services nationwide, and have been allocated their respective spectrum blocks. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, P4 and Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC), which offer services under the ‘Play’ and T-Mobile Poland brands respectively, were awarded the frequencies in February 2013, seeing off bids from Orange Poland and Polkomtel. The UKE has allocated spectrum in the following bands to P4: 1729.9MHz-1734.9MHz paired with 1824.9MHz-1829.9MHz, 1734.9MHz-1739.9MHz with 1829.9MHz-1834.9MHz and 1739.9MHz-1744.9MHz with 1834.9MHz-1839.9MHZ. PTC meanwhile was granted access to two blocks of paired spectrum – 1744.9MHz-1749.9MHz with 1839.9MHz-1844.9MHz and 1749.9MHz-1754.9MHz with 1844.9MHz-1849.9MHz.
Both cellcos will use the frequencies for Long Term Evolution (LTE) and have committed to rolling out 3,200 LTE-enabled base stations over the next two years. At least 50% of the towers will be built in rural areas and towns with fewer than 100,000 residents. The duo are obliged to begin using the spectrum within twelve months. President of the UKE, Magdalena Gaj commented that within the next year: ‘there will be competition in the LTE broadband internet market and modern services will be more available as consumers gain the opportunity to choose between several offers and [as] high-speed mobile internet reaches the small towns and the countryside. This will greatly reduce the phenomenon of the digital divide, especially in areas with poor fibre-optic infrastructure’