WARSAW, Poland - January 10, 2000 - Netia Holdings SA (Nasdaq: NTIA), the largest alternative fixed-line telephone operator in Poland, today announced it¿s intention to participate in the tender announced recently by the Ministry of Communication to obtain a license for fixed-line voice telecommunications services throughout the metropolitan Warsaw area. Netia¿s existing track record as the largest alternative fixed-line voice telecommunications operator in Poland, combined with its new cooperation with major local partners, put the company in a strong position for a successful bid.
Netia also announced that it has signed a cooperative agreement with Stoen S.A., the Warsaw electricity distribution company, on January 5, 2000. Under the terms of the agreement, Netia and Stoen will grant each other mutual access to their respective telecommunications and power distribution infrastructures, enabling both companies to expand their service reach. In particular, the agreement will provide Netia with a flying start in offering data transmission and internet services to its existing and potential customers in Warsaw under it, nationwide data and IP license. Should Netia¿s bid for the second Warsaw license be successful, this will allow Netia to immediately offer local voice service to its customers as well. Stoen will in turn benefit from increased network utilization and extension of its services.
Commenting on the agreement, Meir Srebernik, President and CEO of Netia, said: ¿Netia is a strong contender for the Warsaw voice license. Our alliance with Stoen significantly extends Netia network¿s reach in the Warsaw region, furthering our objective of securing positions in all ten of Poland¿s largest urban centres by the end of 2000. It also gives Netia another strong partner within the Warsaw business community.
"We are delighted to partner with Netia. This agreement will increase the efficiency and utilization of Stoen¿s network," said President of Stoen S.A.
Stoen is a state-owned electricity distribution company operating in five power sectors of the Warsaw region. With some 140 kilometres of fiber-optic cable and 200 kilometres of copper cable, it owns the largest network in and around the city of Warsaw, and its assets include a number of real estate properties and rights of way. In 1998, the company reported revenues of PLN 1 billion (US$ 285 million) and has approximately 780,000 customers.
Netia is the largest alternative fixed-line telecommunications operator in Poland, with 23 license for local telecommunications services in territories covering some 13 million people or approximately 33% of the Polish population. The Company¿s 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.
Currently the company¿s digital network is serving over 250,000 subscriber lines, of which over 50,000 are dedicated to business customers.
Netia has also secured the benefit of a data and IP license to provide data transmission and internet-based services nationally.