Polish minister in favour of single 700MHz network

25 Sep 2019

Poland’s Minister of Digitisation has said he is in favour of a single nationwide network in the 700MHz band which will be made available to all operators on a wholesale basis. Marek Zagorski is cited by PAP news agency as saying that there are several arguments which support this approach. He commented: ‘First of all, there is not much of this resource. The available block is not very extensive and it would be rather impossible to divide it. Assuming that we have four 5G operators in the frequency range 3.6GHz-3.8GHz, we would have two in the 700MHz band. This would put someone in a privileged position.’

He added that some of the 700MHz band must be reserved for military purposes, so having a single commercial 5G network in that band would facilitate the distribution of spectrum. He went on to give lower infrastructure costs and quicker deployment times as further advantages of a single network, with no need for operators to duplicate their rollouts: ‘When we integrate it, we will do it faster and cheaper,’ he stated.

Poland’s 700MHz spectrum is still being used for TV broadcasts, so the minister says that 2022-2023 is a realistic date for the beginning of 5G network rollouts in this band. He says that 3.6GHz-3.8GHz frequencies will be made available sooner which will allow cellcos to get off the ground with 5G technology before then.

In February this year state-backed telecoms network operator Exatel said it would seek a role in the deployment of a single open-access 5G network.

Poland, Ministry of Digitisation (MC)