The Internet is still a crucial direction for the development of mobile networks, which is best proven by the implementation of LTE Advanced technology. Just as in 1996, GSM telephony freed Polish society from obsolete analog cells, in 2016 mobile Internet released Poles from outdated methods of communication.
The mobile market in Poland is saturated, which is reflected in the decreasing number of SIM cards. At the end of 2018, a total of 51.6 million active SIM cards were recorded.
Due to the mandatory registration of prepaid cards in 2016, a significant decrease in the number of prepaid users is observed in favor of post-paid customers. At the end of 2018, prepaid users constituted only 28 percent of all users of mobile telephony.
In 2018, the decreasing trend for revenue from mobile telephony services continued. The total revenues of operators amounted to 13.8 billion zlotych and were 8 percent lower than in the previous year. A drop in revenues was recorded in almost all types of mobile services. Despite the decline of mobile telephony market value by approximately 1.2 billion zlotych, it still represented a significant area of telecommunication activity in 2018. This market generated over 35 percent of revenues in the whole telecommunications market in Poland.
As of 2017, the network operator P4 was the leader in the number of mobile telephony users with a 29 percent share. Orange Polska occupied second place with 27 percent of users. This is the same result as in the previous year. The third position was held by Polkomtel, which was the only one among the four largest companies to record an increase in market share.
In 2018, the duration of outgoing calls in mobile telephony increased by 1.8 percent. As in the previous three years, growth dynamics turned out to be much lower than during 2011-2015. Mobile customers made calls with a total duration of 103.8 billion minutes. Statistically, for every inhabitant of Poland, it was 2702 minutes per year, which appeared to be 50 minutes more than in 2017. The average call duration was 2 minutes and 20 seconds and was 2 seconds longer than in 2017.
In 2018, the " Roam Like At Home" regulation made a significant impact on the use of mobile telephony services by Poles. The application in other EU countries of the same rates for voice calls, SMS, and data transmission as customers in Poland resulted in Poles using their mobile phones much more frequently abroad. The total duration of voice calls made (initiated) while roaming in 2018 amounted to 4.3 billion minutes. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of almost 32 percent.
Poland is also preparing to implement the 5G network, which is supposed to enable a 50 to 100-fold increase in transmission speed compared to current 4G networks. This technology will accelerate, among other things, the development of the Internet of Things, telemedical services, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities. The 3.6-3.8 GHz frequency auction is due to take place in mid-2020.
The European Commission has obliged Poland to launch a 5G network in one of the largest cities by the end of 2020. The city recommended by the Ministry of Digital Affairs for the 5G pilot network implementation is Łódź. By the end of 2025, all major cities of each EU member state and all major transport routes will be covered.