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Rzepka spearheads TPSA's modernization drive
01 April 1999
The Polish telecoms was fairly closed until 1998. Telekomunikacja Polska (TPSA) had all the negative attributes of a state-owned monopoly: it was inefficient and was held back by cash constraints. However, after the sale of 15% of the operator, TPSA is modernizing rapidly. TPSA's president Pawel Rzepka talks to Basil Ballhatchet about the challenges ahead.
Reform of the Polish telecoms markets was initiated in 1995, when
the government introduced competition in the local loop. However,
no further steps were taken in this process. Consequently, the
incumbent operator, Telekommunikacja Polska (TPSA), was placed
under no pressure to restructure, owing to the lack of real
competition, except in the cellular market. In November 1998,
however, the government launched the privatization process of TPSA,
with an IPO for 15% of TSPA. The government has also announced
plans to sell another 25-35% of TPSA to a strategic partner in
The sale is likely to raise significant proceeds, as the Polish
telecoms market is characterized by low levels of penetration, both
in fixed and cellular, and is perceived by many as one of the last
remaining jewels in European telecoms. There should be no shortage
of interest from operators aiming to increase their European
footprint. Istvan Matetoth, a telecoms analyst at Credit Suisse
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