MWC: Play outlines progress as LTE gains traction

4 Mar 2014

Speaking at a press conference at the 2014 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Jorgen Bang-Jensen, CEO of Polish mobile operator Play, revealed that the cellco saw its user base reach 10.733 million at 31 December 2013, up 23.7% year-on-year from 8.689 million one year earlier. Of the most recent figure, 44.4% of customers are said to be post-paid users. Despite the company’s consistent progress, Bang-Jensen dismissed suggestions that Play is now one of the incumbents, stating ‘being a challenger is a mindset’.

With reference to the company’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which launched in 13 cities in November 2013, Bang-Jensen confirmed that 10% of Play’s data traffic is now carried over its LTE system. The 4G network comprised 1,130 base transceiver stations (BTS) at end-2013, and Play expects this figure to increase to 3,700 by end-2014, surpassing the regulator-stipulated target of 3,200.

When quizzed by TeleGeography regarding the long-rumoured prospect of consolidation within the Polish mobile market, Mr Bang-Jensen dismissed such notions, noting that Play and its three chief rivals – T-Mobile, Orange and Polkomtel – all have healthy EBITDA margins and remain competitive. He clarified that consolidation on the network side remains a very real possibility, and admitted that over the next five-to-ten years the mobile landscape could still witness consolidation.

Poland, Play (P4)