Plus launches the first and only commercial 5G network in Poland

08 May 2020


Nearly 900 thousand people in 7 cities will be within Plus’s 5G network coverage from Monday, with additional over 2 million people in Warsaw and the capital urban area joining soon

On Monday, May 11, Plus will launch the first in Poland 5G network using the spectrum from the 2.6 GHz TDD frequency band. A network of 100 transceivers will be operating in 7 Polish cities - Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Poznan, Szczecin and Wroclaw. The second stage of Plus 5G network development in Poland will be to provide coverage for the entire area of Warsaw and the towns and places around it, with over 600 additional 5G stations being constructed. The offer already includes smartphones and routers which support 5G technology in the 2.6 GHz band, while further equipment from leading global manufacturers will be successively added to the sales offer in May and June. The 2.6 GHz TDD network is the first step en route to Plus’s nationwide 5G network coverage in Poland.

“It is a very important moment for our Group and for our customers. We are implementing the first commercial 5G network which will be available here and now. 10 year ago we were the first to introduce LTE to Polish homes. Today, being the technology leader of the Polish media and telecommunications market, we are introducing the first commercial 5G network that Plus customers will be able to enjoy. And Poland is joining the countries which are at the forefront of European and global technology race. I am glad that Plus customers will be the first ones to be able to use commercial 5G services, i.e. the fastest wireless Internet access service,” – said Mirosław Błaszczyk, the President of the Management Board of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, the operator of Plus mobile network 

5G here and now for Plus and Cyfrowy Polsat customers – a new quality of Internet access

5G in Plus means even higher data speeds – of up to Mbps, better connection stability, lower latency and much bigger network capacity. It will be possible to transmit much bigger data volumes much faster and without interference.

”When someone is asking me what 5G is, I am saying that it is a new quality of the Internet, that it is simply freedom. 5G is the possibility of full and unconstrained wireless use of everything that the Internet offers, at any place where we are,” says Maciej Stec, the Vice President of the Management Board for Strategy at Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, the operator of Plus network.

5G in Plus will, among others, offer new quality of entertainment, at any place and at any time while using mobile technology, for example watching movies in ultrahigh resolution, coverage of sports and other events as well as shows in high resolution (4K or even 8K), or use of cloud gaming technology which enables users to access computer games without having to download them to their devices. 5G in Plus also means greater opportunities for exploiting new technologies by businesses and the economy – Internet of Things, intelligent cities, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and much more. 

Plus – the leader of 5G technology

Plus was the first to start the roll-out a commercial 5G network while using the spectrum from the 2.6 GHz frequency band which offers balance between data transfer speed (up to 600 Mbps) and coverage (i.e. wide availability), while keeping both parameters at a very high quality levels.

In the future, as the 5G network develops, current use of the2.6 GHz band will guarantee better land mass coverage than when using the 3.4-3.8 GHz bands only, and it will enable maintaining the edge during further stages of 5G network roll out by offering the possibility 5G frequency bands aggregation.

“In the first stage of 5G network roll-out we have used the 2.6 GHz TDD frequency band with a bandwidth of 50 MHz. It enables sending more data in a given frequency band at higher speeds while covering a bigger area with high speed data transfer service. Thanks to this more of our customers will be able to enjoy the new quality of the Internet. The 3.4-3.8 GHz band will offer bigger bandwidth of 80 MHz, thus being able to offer higher data transfer speeds but the propagation properties offered are inferior. And what is most important, our first 5G service in Poland, operating in the 2.6 GHz TDD band with data speeds of up to 600 Mbps, is available to our customers here and now,” adds Jacek Felczykowski, a Management Board Member of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, the operator of Plus network.

Plus’s 5G network will be developed in the future in all the frequency bands designed for this technology.

“Thanks to this we are becoming the leader of 5G technology and we want to be the leader in the future”- said Mirosław Błaszczyk, the CEO of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, the operator of Plus network.

Over 3 million people will be soon within Plus’s 5G network coverage

The 100 stations which will be put on air in 7 cities across Poland on Monday is just the beginning of 5G services offered by Plus (the first stage with 900 thousand people within the coverage of the 5G network). Simultaneously, as an element of the second phase of implementation of 5G network, work has commenced that is connected with building more than 600 additional stations located  In Warsaw and in the surrounding towns and places (over 2 million people within the network’s coverage area). Thanks to this the next generation network’s coverage will extend over an area inhabited by over 3 million inhabitants of the 7 cities and the Warsaw urban area. Vast part of the planned additional 600 base stations for Warsaw and Warsaw urban area will be constructed by the end of the year, with all of the planned roll out expected to be completed in the early months of next year. 

Who can use the 5G technology offered by Plus

Starting May 11 the 5G commercial network implemented by Plus will be available for use to all postpaid offer subscribers of Plus and Cyfrowy Polsat who live in Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Poznan, Szczecin and Wroclaw, who are within the coverage footprint of the 100 5G base stations and who use the equipment supporting the 5G technology operating in the 2.6 GHz frequency band.

The offer of 5G tariffs will be presented in the near future. During the early months the 5G data transmission will be available to Plus and Cyfrowy Polsat customers on promotional terms, as an element of the data bundles offered by the currently available subscriptions.

More about the 5G technology offered by Plus

The work associated with the installation of the 5G transceivers delivered by Ericsson for the 100 base stations in 7 Polish cities was completed in March. In April the next generation network successfully passed  the required tests.

The first commercial 5G network has been implemented while relying on the latest technology, only recently implemented around the world – using the 2.6 GHz frequency band with the bandwidth of 50 MHz TDD (Time Division Duplex). TDD enables data transmission while using one common spectrum segment for alternating downlink/uplink transmission.

If we compare an operator’s network to a motorway carrying traffic, then the operation of the innovative TDD technology used by Plus can be compared to a method of traffic management on a modern motorway – instead of queuing in traffic jams to the gates, on Friday evening we open 4 lanes e.g. in the direction from Lodz to Gdansk, while on Sunday 4 lanes are open in the opposite direction. On an ordinary motorway, when there is traffic jam in one direction, the traffic in the opposite direction is minimal and nothing can be done to help it – this is how the FDD technology, used in other networks, operates.

A fully functional 5G network will be operating based on a Non-standalone (NSA) architecture, integrated with the LTE infrastructure –existing masts and towers, where the 5G transceivers have been installed, are used by Cyfrowy Polsat Group to build the next generation network.

Further steps involve network roll out using other frequency bands as well as introduction of additional technologies, enabling even faster and more convenient use of the network.

Last updated 05/12/2020