INEA Group is divided into carrier and retail segment
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The INEA Group created the infrastructure brand – Fiberhost. The new brand is focused on providing wholesale services for telecommunication operators based on open optical fibre networks. It turns out that this is the beginning of the trend of dividing operators into strictly carrier and retail ones.
Fiberhost infrastructural brand
The INEA Group informed about the separation of Fiberhost brand, responsible for the wholesale services division, from its business structures. The creation of the Fiberhost infrastructural brand and concentration of all carrier activities around it is another step towards formal division of INEA’s activities into two parts: retail and wholesale. From now on, Fiberhost is the brand under which wholesale services for telecommunication operators are provided on open fibre-optic networks.
The Fiberhost infrastructural brand includes FTTH fibre-optic networks built as part of INEA’s own investments and programs co-financed by EU funds. The current range of Fiberhost is nearly 500 thousand households located in Wielkopolska, but also in the provinces: Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Mazowieckie, Lubelskie, Lodzkie and Slaskie. At the same time, work is progressing on increasing the range of the company’s operations, which is to eventually cover 1.2 million households.
According to the Telko.in., in the long term the INEA Group plans to sell its retail operations, focusing exclusively on the carrier division and the lease of its fibre infrastructure. Another option is to separate INEA’s retail business and transfer it to another company.
Currently, the open fibre-optic network Fiberhost (formerly INEA) is used by Orange Polska, T-Mobile, UPC, INEA and RFC.
The boundaries between wholesale and retail are becoming increasingly clear
According to industry experts, the telecommunications market is becoming increasingly specialised. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before the division into purely carrier operators, providing services to other ISPs, and retail operators, specialising in offering to end customers. This trend is already evident in Europe. It involves achieving greater efficiency of services at a time of growing subscribers’ needs while concentrating on only one area of activity. The key in this respect is that the segment of wholesale infrastructure operations on the telecommunications market in Poland is gaining in importance, mainly in the context of FTTH standard development. At the same time, the sharing of operators’ networks is becoming more and more economically justified, and duplication of telecommunications infrastructure loses its meaning.
Not only fixed operators and owners of fibre-optic infrastructure but also mobile network operators organize their wholesale and retail assets. In 2018, an organized part of Polkomtel’s enterprise, including active and passive telecommunications infrastructure, was transferred to Polkomtel Infrastruktura, 100% owned by Cyfrowy Polsat Group. The same company also includes infrastructure areas previously transferred from Aero2 and Sferia. The core business of Polkomtel Infrastruktura is the construction and maintenance of telecommunications infrastructure necessary for the provision of telecommunications services, and the lease of such infrastructure, including fibre-optic routes.