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Poland Communications


From the communist era Poland inherited an underdeveloped and outmoded system of telephones, with some areas (e.g. in the extreme South East) being served by manual exchanges. In December 2005 the last analog exchange was shut down. All telephone lines are now served by modern fully computerised exchanges (Siemens EWSD, Alcatel S12, Lucent 5ESS, Alcatel E10). The former state owned telephone monopoly (TPSA) has been mostly privatised, with France Telecom buying the largest share. Various other companies have entered the fixed phone market, but generally aiming for niches (e.g. Sferia with fixed wireless, Netia covering primarily business). Whilst prices have reduced and availability has increased considerably since the introduction of competition, there is little sign of TPSA's market share being seriously reduced. In 2008, there were 10.336 million main line telephones and 44.004 million mobile cellular phones.

The long waiting list for fixed line telephones helped in a boom in mobile cellular telephone use and all mobile phone operators in Poland use GSM. There are three competing networks with similar market share, Era (Era and Heyah brands), Orange Polska (Orange and POP brands) and Plus GSM (Plus and Sami Swoi brands). The fourth network, Play Mobile, owned by Netia and Novator Telecom, started offering UMTS network services in early 2007. All mobile operators have UMTS services in the major cities, with nationwide coverage planned.

As of 2008, there were 14 AM and 63 FM radio stations. In that same year, there were 75 television stations. In 2000, there were about 523 radios and 400 television sets for every 1,000 people. There were also 18.679 million internet users in 2008.


Telephones - main lines in use :
10.336 million (2008)

Telephones - mobile cellular :
44.004 million (2008)

Telephone system :
general assessment: modernisation of the telecommunications network has accelerated with market based competition finalised in 2003; fixed-line service, dominated by the former state-owned company, is dwarfed by the growth in wireless telephony
domestic: mobile-cellular service available since 1993 and provided by three nation-wide networks with a fourth provider beginning operations in late 2006; cellular coverage is generally good with some gaps in the east; fixed-line service is growing slowly and still lags in rural areas
international: country code - 48; international direct dialling with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 with access to Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik (2007)

Radio broadcast stations :
AM 14, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2008)

Television broadcast stations :
75 (2008)

Internet country code :

Internet hosts :
8.906 million (2009)

Internet users :
18.679 million (2008)




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