Boost to Goal as National Telecommunications Provider of Choice to Polish Businesses
Warsaw, Poland - March 15, 2000 - Netia Holdings SA (Nasdaq: NTIA), Poland's largest alternative fixed-line telephone operator, reported today that the Polish Ministry of Communications (MOC) has announced that Netia has won the tender to provide fixed-line voice telecommunications services throughout the metropolitan Warsaw area, including the city of Warsaw. Netia expects that the new license will be issued in second quarter 2000.
Warsaw is Poland's largest regional telecommunications market, with nearly 1 million households and nearly 300,000 businesses. With the addition of Warsaw, Netia's local voice licenses will cover approximately 40% of Poland's population, including six of the country's top ten most populated cities. Design and construction of Netia's intra-city network in downtown Warsaw has already commenced, as part of the company's nationwide build-out program which is being carried out under Netia's existing data and IP licenses. As a result, Netia expects to be in a position to launch a full range of bundled telecoms services, including local voice and Internet access services, in Warsaw and its other markets in 2000.
Meir Srebernik, President and CEO of Netia, said: "The MOC's decision reflects its stated preference for a strong entrant that can bring competition into Poland's largest regional telecommunications market quickly and effectively. This can only accelerate the market's already rapid growth.
"Warsaw is the center of the country's business life and a point of origination for many national customer accounts. Netia's ability to provide a comprehensive telecoms solution in Warsaw will give a major boost to our goal to be the provider of choice to the corporate and SME markets throughout Poland."
Netia's activities in the Warsaw metropolitan area will be conducted by its subsidiary, Netia Telekom Mazowsze S.A., which is already operating in areas surrounding the city of Warsaw.
NETIA HOLDINGS is the largest alternative fixed-line telecommunications operator in Poland. Assuming the Warsaw licence is granted, Netia will have 24 licenses for local telecommunications services in territories covering some 15 million people or approximately 40% of the Polish population. The Company's existing local telephone license territories cover five of the country's ten largest urban areas including Krakow, Poznan, Gdansk, Lublin, Katowice and several territories surrounding the city of Warsaw. Netia has also secured the benefit of a nationwide data and IP license to provide data transmission and internet-based services. In February 2000, the Netia 1 consortium was awarded a nationwide domestic long distance voice license.