The mobile sector in Poland accounts for as much as 3.2% of Polish GDP, according to data from report conducted by PwC for Polish Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (PIIT). PwC looks at the development of mobile technology, which combines with the spread of mobile devices (currently 94% of Poles have a mobile phone), almost full coverage of mobile networks and plans for 100% coverage of Polish households with broadband internet in 2023. What is important is the fact that the volume of data used in mobile networks is growing rapidly: in 2015 Poles sent 559m GB of data, 114% more than in the previous year. The availability of mobile technologies contributes to the fact that about 3 million economically disadvantaged users access broadband internet only through mobile technologies.
It seems natural, as the prices for telecommunications services in Poland are among the cheapest ones in Europe. In Poland, the cheapest bundle containing unlimited minutes and SMS costs only €7 per month, while in the Czech Republic it costs four times more. Moreover, in the last years the prices of basic telecom services and equipment are declining, which means that they are more accessible for Poles. In 2006, for the average daily salary one could buy about 1,300 minutes and 1,500 SMS. At the same time, in 2015 one could buy over 10,000 minutes and 5,000 SMS. Thus, for the average salary in 2015 Poles could buy eight times more minutes than in 2006.
What is more, the popularity of mobile payments contributes to the development of mobile apps facilitating the life in cities. In 2016, people in at least 73 Polish cities (with more than 20,000 inhabitants) were able to pay for using the public transport via a mobile phone. Additionally, at least 63 cities have introduced a mobile payment system that allows drivers to pay parking fees with their smartphones. This means that roughly a half of the urban population can benefit from such services.
Direct added value generated by mobile operators amounts to approx. PLN 13.5 billion (€3.1bn) each year. When taking into account the additional sales made by suppliers and subcontractors, the contribution of mobile segment to the Polish economy increases to approx. PLN 26.5bn (€6bn) annually (1.5% of Poland’s GDP). The largest beneficiaries of Polish mobile markets are the service sector (PLN 4.2bn, or €1bn added value) and the industry and construction sector (PLN 3.8bn, or €0.9bn). Apart from the direct and indirect effects depicting only the effect of purchasing other goods and services produced in Poland, an effect the mobile market has on improving the efficiency of enterprises from other economy sectors is equally important. According to the GSMA report "Mobile Economy”, the productivity growth of companies due to the use of mobile technologies reaches 2.2% of global GDP, and accompanied with the direct and indirect effects it amounts to 4.2%. PwC believes that productivity growth of other economy sectors through the use of mobile technologies in Poland reaches 1.7% of GDP, which, combined with the direct and indirect contribution to the national GDP, gives a 3.2% share of Poland’s GDP.
In the coming years, mobile technologies will be a crucial part of economic development in Poland. By 2020, telecom operators plan to invest a total amount of PLN 23.2bn (€5.3bn). In addition, the mobile telephony industry already creates 137,000 jobs. Mobile services are also important from the point of view of e-government. According to the guidelines specified by Polish government, roughly 50% of Poles and nearly 95% of companies will be able to handle their administrative business via internet in 2020.