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Data and Analysis Market News

Infrastructure operators lose customers to MVNOs

Due to high competitiveness and high penetration of services, mobile operators have increasingly limited opportunities to acquire new customers. As a result, the main driver of growth in the customer base is the acquisition of competitors’ customers. Number portability with its current number was made possible in 2009. The ability to port numbers quickly and free of charge from year to year continues to be popular. According to UKE data, in 2018 the operator was changed by approx. 1.9 million users, which is 12% lower than in the previous year. In the first quarter of 2019, a total of over 429,000 numbers were transferred in mobile networks, which means a further decrease by 16% per year. Decreases in the periods indicated, as compared to 2016-2017, result mainly from the extinguished impact of the Act on Counter-Terrorism and the mandatory registration of pre-paid cards. Moreover, it also indicates a higher efficiency of customer loyalty, also as part of package programmes.

Polkomtel S.A. remains the only infrastructure operator with a positive balance of mobile number portability in recent periods. The bundling of services under the smartDOM programme has a significant impact on this. In 2018, Orange suffered a large loss in this area, when the operator lost nearly 90,000 numbers. In the first quarter of this year, the balance sheet of Orange was still negative, although the scale seems to be smaller. Customers are also still losing T-Mobile, which has the smallest SIM card base in comparison to other MNOs. In Q1 2012, P4 lost the most numbers – nearly 10,000 more than in 2018.

UKE statistics show that MVNO operators, especially Premium Mobile, have a strong positive balance of number portability, which in 2018 gained 55.6 thousand customers and in Q1 2019 – 17.6 thousand customers. This is the best result on the entire mobile market. This proves the effectiveness of promotional activities conducted by the operator. Premium Mobile operates on the basis of the infrastructure leased from Polkomtel.

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