Polkomtel, a leading telecommunications operator in Poland, which provides services under the Plus brand, has announced the launch of the country’s first commercial 5G network.
Although in its early stages, the rollout has so far involved the operation of a network of 100 transmitters in seven major cities: Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Poznan, Szczecin and Wroclaw. The combined coverage area, say local reports, is about 900,000 people.
Of course this is only the first stage; the capital Warsaw, in particular, is not covered entirely. That will happen during the second stage of 5G rollout, which will bring 5G coverage to the whole of Warsaw and surrounding towns. It’s not clear when this will happen but it will mean the building and operation of over 600 more 5G base stations and coverage of another two million people.
This news comes hard on the heels of a recent report that Poland’s 5G spectrum auction is now due to relaunch, although this is only relevant to the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz range.
Plus, part of the Cyfrowy Polsat Group, the biggest media and telecommunication group in Poland, is using the 2.6GHz band for its new network and says its 5G offer includes smartphones and routers. It adds that its product line is to be expanded during May and June.
Meanwhile Poland’s government plans to start a new 5G auction process once the government eases restrictions surrounding the outbreak of the coronavirus. At the moment, however, there are no firm dates for the rescheduled process, so Plus may be market leader in 5G for some time yet.