In Opensignal's third mobile network experience report on Poland, Orange triumphs in all seven categories — with four outright wins and three joint victories with T-Mobile. Orange outright wins awards for the third time in the row for Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience. T-Mobile retains its awards for Games Experience, Voice App Experience and Upload Speed Experience, but this time has to share them with Orange — making this the first report in which Orange has stood on the winners’ podium for Voice App Experience. Noteworthy, Orange was a joint winner for Games Experience and the outright winner of the Upload Speed Experience award our May 2020 report, but T-Mobile was the sole winner for both in our last report.
Polish mobile service providers are still waiting for a key spectrum auction of new mid bands — the government intends to allocate the 3.7 GHz band by 27th August 2021, after the original tender has been delayed due to the pandemic and changes in legislation.
However, all four Polish operators have already launched their 5G networks and have big plans to expand them further. Plus plans to cover 11 million people in 150 towns and cities by the end of 2021, using 1,700 base stations. The operator claims to have provided 5G coverage to 5.2 million Poles by the end of November 2020, using the 2.6 GHz band — the 5G footprint includes the capital city of Warsaw along with other major cities in Eastern Poland, where Plus rolled-out its 5G network with Nokia’s support.
Notably, in March 2021, Plus decided to sell its network assets to Cellnex, a mobile tower firm, for EUR1.6 billion — including 7,000 towers and active infrastructure, that includes radio carriers, fibre backbone network and a network of microwave radio links. As part of the deal, Cellnex agreed to deploy 1,500 new sites for Plus for EUR 600 million, dedicated mainly to 5G. This is not the first Cellnex investment in Poland, as it purchased 60% of Play’s infrastructure unit earlier in October 2020, for EUR 800 million. Speaking of Play — the operator, acquired by the French telco group Iliad, secured a PLN 100 million ($27 million) investment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to fund its further 5G roll-out. It has also entered a partnership with Samsung to test Samsung’s 4G and 5G solutions in terms of their performance and their ability to interoperate with Play’s 2G/3G legacy networks. Play will conduct the trials using its labs and commercial networks in the second quarter of 2021.
Our results in this report are based on measurements collected across all major mobile operators in Poland – Orange, Play, Plus and T-Mobile – over the period of 90 days between February 1, 2021, and May 1, 2021. 5G measurements contributed to the overall scores.