According to the latest PMR data, the telecommunications services market for the B2B and carrier subgroup in Poland was worth PLN 14.3 billion in 2019. In the last three years the market has been moving horizontally, with the trend suggesting stabilisation. This has been assisted by increases in the costs of mobile and ISP services.
Stabilisation on the retail market reported
According to the latest PMR data, the telecommunications services market for the B2B and carrier subgroup in Poland was worth PLN 14.3 billion in 2019. In the last three years the market has been moving horizontally, with a trend toward stabilisation apparent. This is mainly because of the situation on the retail market of telecommunications services for business, on which operators are implementing a strategy of price increases in exchange for a wider range of services offered. This trend is visible in the subgroups of mobile telephony and internet access services. The situation in the data transmission subgroup has also improved – after seven years of decline, the market stabilised in 2019 because of the growing scale of the transmission capacities used by companies (higher purchase volumes). In parallel, the overall market is negatively affected by the wholesale subdivision.
PMR expects similar trends on the market in the next few years. The average annual growth rate (CAGR) of the market for 2020-2025 will be 1.8%. Nevertheless, PMR expects some losses in the industry because of the announced SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic and less optimistic GDP predictions, mainly in the short term. Paradoxically, the epidemiological factor will also have a positive impact on the market.
Increase in ARPU from mobile services and internet access observed
PMR estimates suggest that the value of the mobile services market for B2B business rebounded in 2019, after a few years of decline, increasing by 3% year on year. The reversal of the trend and last year’s increase in the value of the market were caused mainly by a change in the mobile services subgroup. With a steady increase in the number of SIM cards, the less severe erosion of ARPU from mobile handset services has resulted in an increase in operators’ revenues in this arena. The main reason for this on the market is a change in the strategy used by operators in their competition for the customer. It is no longer price which plays a decisive role, but quality of service – in return for a higher subscription price customers receive a wider range of services, mainly in terms of mobile data transmission packages. In accordance with this strategy, mobile operators increased the cost of business mobile services in 2018 and 2019. Like the situation on the mass market, this involves the provision of a pool of funds to cover ongoing infrastructure investments (mainly the construction of 5G networks).
The market of internet access services for business customers in Poland has recorded an average annual increase of 3% in the last two years. The positive market situation reflects two overlapping trends – a steadily growing number of subscribers to access services on the B2B market, and an easing of the pressure to reduce average revenues per customer and to increase the prices of access lines. As part of the “more for more” strategy, operators provide customers with lines which are more expensive but which bear a higher capacity. The main causes of the increases in the market are online offers focused on the fibre-optic model and modernised TVK lines. This correlates closely with demand on the B2B market, on which companies are increasingly demanding high-performance lines capable of handling the growing volume of transmitted data.
A trend which shows higher prices for mobile and ISP services will also be visible on the market over the next six years. This will continue to match the higher data volumes on mobile and fixed networks.
Growing P4 infrastructure slows wholesale revenues of MNOs
In 2018 and 2019, the wholesale telecommunications services market, after growth in 2017, once again found itself on the wane. Over the last two years, the fall in the value of the wholesale telecommunications services market has mainly reflected the fixed telephony and wholesale line rental subgroups. The wholesale mobile services market, which is stagnating, and showing a slight downward trend, is practically neutral. This is because of the reduction in wholesale revenues reported by Polkomtel in 2018 and the abandonment by P4 of the use of domestic roaming services as part of infrastructure rental from other operators – with one consequence being a reduction in the wholesale revenues of Orange, T-Mobile and Polkomtel in this arena in 2019.
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