In our inaugural 5G Experience Report on Poland, we observed multiple joint victories and only one outright win. All four operators split the crown for 5G Video Experience, while we also saw three three-way statistical ties for 5G Games Experience, 5G Voice App Experience and 5G Availability. T-Mobile accumulated five joint wins to its name — one more than Orange and Play. While Plus collected only two joint wins, it added to its haul the only outright win in our awards table — for 5G Download Speed, beating its rivals with 1.8-2 times faster speeds as seen by our users. Our users in Poland experienced average 5G download speeds exceeding 60 Mbps on all Polish operators.
A comparison between Poland 5G Experience Report and our companion Poland Mobile Network Experience report shows how 5G deployments can massively improve mobile user experience. Our 5G users in Poland enjoyed faster download and upload speeds and saw significant enhancements in the quality of gaming and video on their mobile devices, compared to what they experienced on mobile networks overall. Opensignal recently acknowledged some of these stunning improvements over 4G connectivity seen on Polish networks — in our 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2021, we recognized Play for 5G Global Impact for Upload Speed, Games Experience and Video Experience — along with Plus for Video Experience and Orange for Upload Speed.
Polish mobile operators all launched their commercial 5G networks within the first few months of 2020. Orange, Play and T-Mobile used the 2100 MHz band for their 5G roll-outs, while Plus decided to go with the 2.6 GHz band — which would explain Plus’s winning margin over its competitors in the Download Speed Experience award. The choice for these bands to deploy 5G is dictated by necessity, as Polish operators have cannot use 700 MHz or 3.5 GHz bands for their 5G roll-outs just yet. They are still waiting for the Polish authorities to greenlight the delayed 3.5 GHz spectrum auction. As for the 700 MHz — Poland’s neighbours Belarus, Ukraine and Russia still use the 700 MHz for TV broadcast, which would potentially cause spectrum harmonization issues and lead to interferences with the 5G networks deployed on this spectrum band in Poland.
Despite these issues with 5G spectrum availability, Polish mobile operators continue with their 5G roll-outs. T-Mobile claimed to have rolled-out nearly 3,000 5G base stations and covered 25% of Poland’s population with its 5G footprint in September 2021. Meanwhile, Plus claimed to have increased its 5G coverage to more than 40% of population in August 2021 and will have 1,500 new sites rolled-out by Cellnex mainly for 5G services, over the next 10 years, as part of the tower infrastructure sale deal both companies finalized in July 2021.
In this report, we examine the 5G experience of our users on the three main mobile network operators in Poland: Orange, Play, Plus and T-Mobile, over a period of 90 days beginning August 1 and ending October 29, 2021, to see how they fared. We have also published a companion report — Poland Mobile Network Experience — which analyzes the overall experience of all our mobile users in Poland.