Orange Polska decided to withdraw from applying for the extension of the 450 MHz band licence due to its high cost. The procedure concerning this issue began in October 2016. It was the first time when the Polish operator had resigned from the allocation of a frequency reservation. Polish telecom market regulator UKE set the price for the extension of the band until 2031 at PLN 115.5m (€26.3m).
If other operators are interested in the 450 MHz band, UKE will begin the proceedings aiming at the redistribution of utilisation rights for the frequency band. 450 MHz has been used by PTK Centertel/Orange Polska since 1991, initially for the purpose of NMT analog mobile phone system. In 2005, the utilisation rights were extended to CDMA technology, allowing the operator to build a radio access network. At the end of 2016, the network was still used by 20,000 customers.
The 450 MHz band may be used for M2M or dispatching services. Polkomtel, another big telco player, has resources on a similar frequency as Orange. Those two operators even analysed the possibility of combining their resources, yet were not satisfied with the results. Orange representatives stated that the company may participate in the further tenders of this band, which will allow the operator to acquire it for cheaper price.