Netia plans to conquer Polish MVNO market

Despite many attempts, MVNOs failed to gain a significant position in the mobile market in Poland and to become serious competitors for Polish MNOs Orange, T-Mobile, Plus and Play. Yet, Virgin Mobile (Polish MVNO) still believes that a successful fight with MNOs is possible, as reported by The virtual operator recently announced that it managed to double its sales revenues from PLN 40m (€9m) in 2015 to PLN 80m (€1.8m) last year. The company also announced that by the end of 2018, it wants to have 1m customers in Poland (currently, the figure reaches 412,000).

Similar plans were also revealed by Polish telecom operator Netia, which presented a new offer of its mobile services. Although the operator had provided such services for many years, they were sold only as an addition fixed-line services. Netia’s portfolio will include SIM Only offer for PLN 19.90 (€4.5) per month (unlimited calls to fixed and mobile phones in Poland, SMS for PLN 0.2 and MMS for PLN 0.5 and 2 GB of internet) or PLN 29.90, or €6.8 (additional unlimited SMS and MMS and 8 GB of internet).

According to Pawel Olszynka, our head analyst, an offer presented by Netia is a step in the right direction. However, Netia has to be prepared for a fierce competition on the market. The SIM Only offer means that Netia will have to compete not only with the large mobile networks, but also with the most dynamic MVNOs (e.g. Lajt Mobile, Premium Mobile and Virgin Mobile) which offer their services in much lower prices.

Will Netia be able to conquer the Polish market with its mobile services? Pawel Olszynka stresses that Netia is already a prominent player among other MVNOs, due to its customer base reaching approximately 100,000 users. On the other hand, despite the fact that some MVNOs operating in the Polish market have a competitive offer when compared to MNOs, the scale of their business has remained very limited for years, and their share on the market is marginal (less than 5% of all SIM cards and the share of sales revenues lower than 2%). Pawel Olszynka believes that the most likely scenario is the one in which the position of MVNOs in the next 3-4 years will not change dramatically. The high competitiveness of the market, flat-rate offers and the introduction of sub-brands by MNOs don’t have a positive impact on the potential development of MVNOs in Poland. The strategy of some MVNOs, which assumes adapting the offer to specific, pre-defined customer groups also seems to be ineffective.