Play Extends To New Territories As Crisis Forces More People Online

  • The local authorities of Cieszyn banned the establishment of the network station because ‘it didn’t fit there’.
  • Play found the way to please the government and finally provide LTE coverage for the inhabitants.

As more enterprises around the world experience the COVID-19 crises and slow down their operations, Play extends LTE and LTE Ultra coverage to new locations. In March alone, the biggest cellular telecom provider in Poland reached 15 more localities with over 1,000 inhabitants each. 

Due to the transition of all students in the country into the remote learning mode and sending many employees to the home office, the existing base stations of operators are increasingly burdened. The extension in the current circumstances is challenging but necessary. 

‘In the situation that we find ourselves in, it is not easy to work on new stations, but the Technology Department gives its best. They do everything to reach new cities with coverage and ensure the best connectivity, not only during the campaign #StayATHome,’ shares the company’s press office. 

At the moment, 2,470 localities (over 1,000 inhabitants), including 391 cities (over 10,000 citizens) has LTE coverage provided by Play. In turn, LTE ULTRA covers 1,911 localities and 384 cities. You can find the full list of new covered territories here

While the news of Play extending its network coverage has not gone viral, the fact that one of the operator’s stations looks like a pine tree caught general attention. 

Until now, Cieszyn and its visitors could not enjoy the LTE network coverage from Play, because the construction of the operator’s station was banned by the local government. The city authorities did not want to establish a huge mast near Castle Hill. Such issues can be solved really fast if the local government uses the platform CitizenLab which helps citizens and authorities exchange opinions online and co-create their city.

Finally, an unusual mast, which the operator erected at the end of last year in the National Park in Roztocze, has been launched. Since a usual base station would not fit there, Play came up with the idea to make it look like pine. An artificial 51.3 meters tree was erected on Marchwianego Mountain. 

Piotr Combik, Director of the Department of Railway Staff and Regulations in Poland commented on LinkedIn, ‘Anna Streżyńska and I encouraged the authorities to implement such projects 11 years ago at Office of Electronic Communications conferences, showing similar examples from around the world when local governments blocked mast construction due to their urban development plans. To date, there are other similar hidden base stations in Poland.’



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