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Emitel has been awarded a 5-Star rating in GRESB’s 2020 Infrastructure Assessment.

GRESB is a non-profit international organization that benchmarks the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices and performance of infrastructure companies. Its assessments are guided by what international investors consider to be material issues in sustainability of investments.

A GRESB 5-Star rating is awarded only to the top 20% of reporting companies. For 2020, Emitel was ranked second among its peer group of companies. Emitel scored 86 points versus the average score of 61 points for more than 400 companies surveyed by GRESB.

Emitel has participated in GRESB’s Infrastructure Assessment since it was launched in 2015, and Emitel’s score has risen over this period.

By focusing on not only our policies, but also on the implementation of our policies and the resulting performance, our score has risen substantially over the years. The 5-Star rating is a confirmation of our high standards in the way we care for people, in the way we manage our impact on the environment, and in our governance ” – said Andrzej Kozlowski, President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A.

“We are very pleased with Emitel’s results in the GRESB survey, and we congratulate Emitel on its accomplishment” – said Jim Metcalfe, Managing Partner of Alinda Capital Partners and a Member of Emitel’s Supervisory Board.

The GRESB survey, which has been conducted by independent experts for a decade now, is devoted to assessing infrastructure enterprises in terms of their environmental, social responsibility and corporate governance activities. GRESB is an independent survey of social engagement and sustainable development of companies. The survey is an important benchmark for investment funds that invest pension funds in infrastructure companies around the world. GRESB BV – the company conducting the survey – is a subsidiary of Green Business Certification Inc., a non-profit organisation registered in the United States. Find out more about the results at: https://gresb.com/esg-reporting-benchmarking-infrastructure-sector-moves-mainstream/

 

Emitel and TV Spektrum reached an agreement on ending the hitherto pending litigation concerning settlements for services of TV Spektrum’s access to Multipleks 8 in order to distribute the channel Nowa TV.

The Parties unanimously agreed that the grounds for parties’ settlements are provided by the agreement concluded by them in October 2016. The parties do not disclose detailed terms and conditions of the settlement agreement. The agreement entered into force upon taking control over TV Spektrum by Telewizja Polsat.

Management Boards of Emitel and TV Spektrum are satisfied with the agreement that ends several years of litigation and favours further amicable performance of the concluded agreement.

 

About Emitel

The company Emitel S.A. belongs to the American fund Alinda Capital Partners and is the largest operator of the terrestrial radio and television infrastructure in Poland. For over 50 years due to Emitel, television and radio signals can be received in all Polish homes. Apart from services for television broadcasters including TVP S.A., Grupa Polsat, TVN Discovery, TV Puls and radio broadcasters, Emitel offers high altitude infrastructure for mobile operators, designs and installs modern wireless communications systems and participates in developing intelligent cities and towns, as well as engages in work on preparation for development of the 5G network in Poland.

 

At the beginning of October, Emitel launched 10 new transmitters for the Polish Radio. As of now, works are well-underway to start broadcasting from new locations across Poland. By the end of this year, the DAB+ coverage will allow 67% of the Polish population to enjoy the new standard, as long as they have a digital radio receiver. A new station run by Polskie Radio S.A. in the DAB+ standard – Polskie Radio Kierowców – was been launched.

The digital radio system used across Europe, including Poland is DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting Plus). Regular digital broadcasting using the DAB+ standard started in Poland on 1 October 2013. At the beginning, DAB+ broadcasting was available in Warsaw and Katowice. Today, the largest broadcasting network remains at the disposal of the Polish Radio. Using DAB+ receivers, the audiences can listen to Polish Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4, along with Polskie Radio 24, Polskie Radio Dzieciom, Polskie Radio Chopin, Radio Poland (in English, German and other languages) and regional programmes of the Polish Radio. The broadcaster introduced a novelty in the DAB+ system — Polskie Radio Kierowców, created with drivers in mind.

At the beginning of October, Emitel launched new transmitters for the public broadcaster, enabling DAB+ broadcasts in Częstochowa, Wisła, Tarnów, Szczawnica, Kalisz, Przemyśl, Gorzów and Legnica, among other cities and towns. Currently, work is underway to offer broadcasts in Skierniewice, Radom, Płock, Siedlce and Ostrów Mazowiecka. By the end of this year, 25 million potential customers and about 44% of Poland’s area will have DAB+ coverage.

We are proud that despite the difficult situation related to the coronavirus pandemic, the next stage of DAB+ coverage extension for Polish Radio has been completed on time. Digital radio means broadcasting a larger number of channels, better sound quality and additional features, such as broadcasting graphics or text, which can be displayed on DAB+ receivers in cars or at homes, said Maciej Staszak – Vice-President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A.

In future, the DAB+ will also be used for emergency alerts broadcast by the Government Security Centre. The additional features of the DAB+ standard will enable broadcasting messages on all channels, as well as displaying text and infographics. Depending on the receiver, emergency messages may be transmitted even when the receiver is inactive. The system will wake up the receiver itself and leave it in standby mode.

Listening to radio programmes broadcast in the digital DAB+ standard requires a DAB+ digital radio receiver. Digital radio offers better sound quality, which is not affected by interference or distortion as is the case with analogue radio. In addition, receivers equipped with screens can display text and images, such as disc covers, artist photos and radio logos.

 

Telewizja Polska and Emitel test DVB-T2 terrestrial television broadcasting. The first stage has been initially planned for 3 months. The signal is broadcast by Emitel facilities in Krakow and Katowice. The channel 27 of the SFN (Single Frequency Network) broadcasts TVP Kultura HD, TVP Polonia HD and TVP Rozrywka programmes. The signal is available for more than 6 million residents of Silesia and Lesser Poland regions. Tests of the new standard enable viewers to check whether they can receive the broadcast correctly, while allowing Emitel to prepare for the migration to the new standard.

For more than 10 years now, digital terrestrial television broadcasts have been available to viewers in Poland in DVB-T standard. In 2022, we are going to switch the terrestrial television broadcasting standard to newer and more efficient DVB-T2/HEVC.

DVB-T2 offers better bandwidth use efficiency, which enables broadcasting all digital terrestrial television programmes in HD quality, thus offering the opportunity to present new television programmes available free of charge to all viewers. The standard has already been employed in many European countries, including Germany, Czechia and the United Kingdom.

“The objective of the tests launched by Telewizja Polska is primarily to check whether the TV sets available in Polish homes are ready to receive TV broadcast in the new standard. We started with two locations, we already have permits for more transmitters in Warsaw, Poznań and the Tricity. In the upcoming months, we are planning to expand the scope of our tests to cover more locations, aiming to eventually cover the area close in size to the entire country, enabling every TVP viewer in Poland to check the technical capabilities of their receiver. We are also planning to use the new frequencies to familiarise viewers with the unique offer of TVP, which was not available on digital terrestrial television due to the insufficient number of multiplexes – said Marcin Klepacki, Director of the Distribution Office of Telewizja Polska S.A.

These tests will help us get prepared for the migration to the new standard. What is more, they will offer all the viewers, who are in range of the broadcast a chance to check whether they can receive the signal with their existing TV sets. The tests will require changes in broadcasting parameters, which may require the viewers with older TV sets, interested in watching programmes in the DVB-T2/HEVC standard, to scan the band for programmes again – said Piotr Guziewicz – Director of the Office of Network Planning and Service Development at Emitel S.A.

To date, terrestrial television in Poland and in Europe has used frequencies in the range of 470 – 790 MHz for terrestrial broadcasting. The change of the broadcasting standard is connected with the need to free up the 700 MHz band for the needs of building 5G networks by mobile operators, following the decision of the European Commission. This means that the broadcasting network has to be rebuilt and the broadcasting of terrestrial television programmes in Poland has to be moved to other frequencies. The project has been divided into a number of stages – the first two were already carried out by Emitel in the first half of 2020. The next switchovers and digital terrestrial television broadcasting standard change will take place in 2022.

According to the Regulation of the Minister of Digital Affairs on technical and operational requirements for digital receivers”, all newly marketed digital TV sets (after 1 December 2019) should support the DVB-T2/HEVC standard.

Further tests are planned in the future in Warsaw, Gdańsk and Poznań, as well as other cities.

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Thanks to a joint project of Telecentras and Emitel, Lithuanian and Polish TV broadcasting companies, also Government institutions, the possibilities to watch Lithuanian national TV program LRT LITUANICA via terrestrial television were greatly improved in Suwalki region, were most of Poland-based Lithuanians reside.

The installation of TV signal amplification equipment in the Emitel’s TV tower in Krzemianucha, near the city of Suwalki, extended the coverage area of LRT LITUANICA and made it possible to watch the program not only for residents of border areas, who receive a signal from the Telecentras TV tower in Lazdijai, but also throughout Suwalki region.

The project was co-financed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian national broadcaster LRT.

„LRT LITUANICA broacasting project in Suwalki region shows how much Government of Lithuania and Polish institutions can achieve by working together“, today at the launching ceremony said Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

“I am delighted that with the joint efforts of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, national broadcasters and re-broadcasters, the broadcasting of LRT LITUANICA is being launched in this region of Poland. I would like to emphasize that this program will be visible to all households with a regular TV antenna and will be free of costs. I believe, for every ethnic minority it is important to maintain bonds with their nation. I am positive that LRT LITUANICA will aid strengthening that connection and provide access to the up-to-date news in Lithuania,” – says Jaroslav Narkevič, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania.

“National broadcaster LRT has a special role in helping Lithuanians living abroad to stay in touch with the country by providing relevant content and ensuring it’s accessibility. This spring we have launched a new online platform LRT LITUANICA dedicated specifically for Lithuanian diaspora. LRT LITUANICA TV channel is also broadcasted on the internet. By making available content online, we also acknowledge importance to broadcast it via the terrestrial television especially in regions like Suwalki where lives numerous Lithuanian community”, commented Director General of LRT Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė.

“We are glad that we could help Lithuanian community leaving in Poland to improve reception of LRT LITUANICA via terrestrial television. It was not an easy job, mainly due to legal requirements and permissions that are required by cross-border cooperation in that matter. Emitel designed the technical solution, acquired necessary permissions and finally launched tv signal broadcasting,” – said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A

“I am glad that we managed to agree on a technical solution in principle and implement it smoothly within the set deadlines”, says Remigijus Šeris, General Director of Telecentras. “Preliminary measurements, which we performed at 9 points, show that the TV signal in many areas inhabited by Lithuanians can be received qualitatively with an outdoor antenna, and in some places – even with a room antenna.”

About Telecentras
Telecentras is a Lithuanian state-owned joint-stock company providing radio and television program transmission, data transmission, Internet, smart television, data center and telephony services throughout Lithuania.

On 31 July, TVP and Emitel concluded a contract for broadcasting TVP programmes via the third Digital Terrestrial Television multiplex (MUX-3). The contract covers not only the provision of the television programme broadcasting service, but also the change of the broadcasting and coding standard, which will be carried out in 2022. The contract was concluded for 10 years.

The contract covers the broadcasting of TVP programmes via MUX-3, the development of an ICT platform to ensure the transmission of production signals between the field branches and the broadcaster’s headquarters, and includes provisions pertaining to the change of the broadcasting and coding standard from DVB-T/MPEG-4 to DVB-T2/HEVC. Channel changes within the framework of the refarming process are carried out in stages, which are to take place in 2020 and 2022. The change of the broadcasting standard will take place in 2022.

“I am pleased to sign a new agreement with Emitel, our long-standing, proven partner”, said Jacek Kurski, acting President of TVP S.A. “By concluding a long-term contract for digital broadcasting of Telewizja Polska programmes via MUX-3, we are fulfilling the mission of a public broadcaster by guaranteeing viewers free access to our programmes throughout Poland. By continuing our cooperation with Emitel, we also make sure that Poles have universal access to the latest technologies, such as hybrid broadcast TV, and we ensure further development of digital terrestrial television by changing the broadcasting standard within two years. Thanks to this, viewers will be able to enjoy free access to more attractive content in the best quality – both HD and 4K – offered by Telewizja Polska.”

“The conclusion of a new 10-year agreement and the continued cooperation with our strategic partner – Telewizja Polska S.A. – is a key event for Emitel. At the same time, it is an opportunity to jointly develop digital terrestrial television, which is very popular among Polish viewers. The planned change of the broadcasting standard to DVB-T2/HEVC will allow the broadcaster to develop their content distribution platform, which will benefit viewers in Poland”, said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A.

The conclusion of the new contract means continued cooperation between TVP and Emitel. The previous agreement was in force since 2010 and concerned the design and construction of a DVB-T broadcasting network, as well as provision of the MUX-3 signal broadcasting service. Thanks to the cooperation with Emitel, the public broadcaster has changed the standard of television broadcasting from analogue to digital.

Digital Terrestrial Television remains a very popular platform for receiving TV broadcasts in Poland, allowing viewers to receive nearly 30 free programmes. Terrestrial television is the most important platform used by the public broadcaster to distribute their content. Nearly 100% of the country’s population is within the range of MUX-3 transmitters. Thanks to free reception from traditional antennas, millions of viewers in Poland can enjoy the popular TVP programmes every day.

To date, terrestrial television, not only in Poland but also in Europe, has used frequencies in the range of 470 – 790 MHz for terrestrial broadcasting. According to the European Commission’s decision, all Member States must free up the 700 MHz band, which will be used by mobile operators for developing their 5G networks. This means that the broadcasting network has to be rebuilt and the broadcasting of terrestrial television programmes in Poland has to be moved to other frequencies. In consultation with market regulators, the completion of this project has been planned in several stages, and the entire project will be completed in June 2022. At that point, the broadcasting standard will be switched to DVB-T2 /HEVC. Compared to the current standard (DVB-T/MPEG-4), DVB-T2/HEVC allows more efficient use of the available frequencies and increase the number of available channels.

MUX-3 currently broadcasts the following public television channels: TVP1 HD, TVP2 HD, TVP Info HD, TVP Sport HD, TVP Historia and TVP3.

The “Poland’s Most Important Companies” ranking reflects significant trends in contemporary business. Apart from economic indicators, the editorial staff of Rzeczpospolita took into consideration the role played by the company in the social reality – from questions of taxes, to the level and forms of employment, to efforts benefitting local communities, to environmental protection measures. The company’s functioning during the coronavirus epidemic was observed as well, alongside its immunity to market shocks and the measures benefitting its employees and the society in this difficult time.

The “Poland’s Most Important Companies” ranking was compiled in two categories: corporate group and individual company. The laureates were selected by the ranking’s jury composed of acclaimed economists and market analysts. The project is part of the celebrations of the centenary of the Rzeczpospolita daily. It is under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Development. Besides Emitel, the companies most important for Poland included, among others: PKN Orlen, PGNiG, PGE, PZU, Grupa Azoty, and Jeronimo Martins.

“Thank you very much for the distinction which is awarded in a special year – the year of the hundredth birthday of the Rzeczpospolita daily. It is an honour to be among companies that are key for the future of the Polish economy,” said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, the President of the Management Board of Emitel.

Emitel has been accompanying Poles in their everyday lives for over 50 years. It is responsible for broadcasting terrestrial television and radio signal throughout Poland. It also maintains important wireless communication nodes for many national services and institutions.

Due to the epidemiological situation in the country and across the world, it is key to maintain the continuity of service provision, since television and radio are important communication channels for the authorities and institutions engaged in the fight with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and for many Poles, especially seniors, they are the only source of information on important events.

“A distinction from such a prestigious daily as Rzeczpospolita is evidence that Emitel is one of the leaders and an important participant in the economic bloodstream in Poland. It is an award for all the past and present Emitel employees who have been writing the history of this company,” Emitel’s President added.

Emitel’s operations are executed in a fully responsible manner, towards the stakeholders, the business setting – but, most importantly, the environment, the protection of which is the highest priority for the company. The innovative solutions built by Emitel for the Smart Cities, executed in cooperation with local governments, correspond perfectly with this position, for example the installation of sensors for measuring the fill level of trash cans, flood sensors for monitoring the water level in rivers and main drainage ditches, and other sensors that inspect the environment (temperature, noise level, or humidity).

On 2-4 June, Emitel executed the second stage of the 700MHz band refarming. The changes in the terrestrial television programs’ broadcasting band encompassed large areas of Poland. The technically and logistically complex project was being prepared by Emitel for many months. In the last step, over 100 technical crews switched the transmitters to new broadcasting frequencies during late night hours.

According to the decision of the European Parliament concerning the use of the 470-790 MHz frequencies, the 700 MHz band must be cleared to enable the development of the fifth generation network. The 5G network will enable quicker data transmission and development of new, innovative industrial services and solutions. On the conditions of its incorporation is the clearance of the band occupied currently by broadcasters of digital terrestrial television. In agreement with market regulators, the project was planned to be implemented in several stages and will be completed in 2022. The band clearance in June of this year was required due to Poland’s bilateral commitments towards the neighbouring countries.

The change of program broadcasting frequencies implemented in June concerned the broadcasting of the MUX-1, MUX-2, MUX-3 and MUX-4 multiplexers based in 13 voivodeships (Lubuskie, Dolnośląskie, Śląskie, Świętokrzyskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Małopolskie, Podkarpackie, Pomorskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Ppolskie, Wielkopolskie, Mazowieckie, Lubelskie). Earlier, in March of this year, the changes in program broadcasting were implemented in the Zachodniopomorskie voivodeship. The changes do not apply to MUX-8, which is broadcasted in a different band and is not the subject of refarming.

The preparations and execution of the project were performed for many months. Previously such a technically-complex undertaking was executed by our specialists 10 years ago, when the television broadcasting standard was being changed from analogue to digital. I am proud of our engineers and specialists, because despite objective difficulties and restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic the project stage was executed perfectly. Moreover, more than 100 Emitel technical crews have done an extraordinary thing by completing works planned for 3 days in a much shorter time. The interest of the viewer and broadcasters is most important in our activities. That is why the vast majority of the works was executed during late night hours and breaks in TV signal broadcasting were very short” – said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, Chairman of the Board at Emitel S.A.

The entire undertaking and technical design were planned to make the changes least burdensome for the recipients of terrestrial television which is very popular. The viewers affected by the changes in the manner of broadcasting do not have to make any corrections in the settings of their receiver antennae. The broadcasting standard was not changed either, we are still using the DVB-T. After changing the broadcasting frequency, the vast majority of TV receivers or decoders will automatically update the list of TV programs. In the case of older receiver models, it may be necessary for the recipient to repeat the channel search process. It is a simple operation that can be done through the TV settings menu by using a remote control.

From the point of view of the terrestrial television viewers, the change in the broadcasting frequency should not cause major difficulties. The signal broadcasting directions from the Emitel broadcasting facilities have not changed, so it isn’t necessary to adjust the receiver antennae. In most cases, the TV is automatically updating the channels list. The biggest changes have yet to come. In 2022, we will be making further reconnections and there will be a new and better broadcasting standard – the DVB-T2/HEVC. Therefore, if we decide to purchase a new TV receiver, it is worth making sure that it has the correct technical parameters” – said Jerzy Godek, Board Member on Technology at Emitel S.A.

The next stage of the 700Mhz band refarming project is planned for March 2022 and the complete clearance of the 700MHz band will take place before 30 June 2022. At that time, the broadcasting standard will be switched to DVB-T2/HEVC. In comparison to the currently functioning standard, DVB-T2/HEVC enables a more optimal use of the available band. This will enable broadcasting all TV programs in the HD standard. The National Action Plan for the 700 MHz band repurposing in Poland (document developed by the Ministry of Digital Affairs) also assumes the ability to launch new multiplexers. It will therefore be possible to launch new programs and the viewers will be able to receive even ultra-high definition (UHD) imaging.

Emitel upholds the principles of responsibility towards the environment, its stakeholders and the business environment. Therefore, to celebrate the World Bee Day, the Company decided to join forces with Roi Się, which promotes and supports Polish apiaries, ensuring that its community can benefit from the gifts of nature. 

As part of this collaboration, Emitel will be the patron of its own beehive, inhabited by 60,000 bees. Emitel’s employees will have the opportunity to visit their bees, as well as volunteer in this special place. The cooperation is aimed at strengthening the green attitudes, thus increasing engagement in growing the population of bees, which only live in a healthy environment. Emitel will also take advantage of natural products of the apiary to promote bee protection by sharing occasional gifts with Company stakeholders. 

World Bee Day, which is celebrated on 20 May, was established by the UN on the initiative of Slovenia, which wanted to highlight the importance of bees for food supply and also pointed out that the use of pesticides in agriculture kills these helpful insects. The available data show that there are nearly 470 bee species in Poland, the most famous of which is the honeybee; however, other plants are pollinated by various other insects. This means that in order to ensure the security of the food supply, we need to take care of the biodiversity of pollinating insects.

According to ecologists, the main threat to bees is the loss of habitats – their food and breeding base, resulting from changes in land use. The growing area of cities and cultivated areas, dense land development and frequent mowing of lawns and meadows are only some of the changes that make life harder for these animals. Agriculture intensification, excessive or incorrect use of plant protection products and fertilisers, pathogens, invasive species, environmental pollution and climate change also affect bee welfare. It is estimated that in Poland the work of bees is worth over 4 billion PLN annually, and if it weren’t for these insects, we would have to forget about numerous fruit and vegetables, and cope with much lower yields of other crops.

 

The pair of peregrine falcons living in a nest on the tower belonging to Emitel S.A. in Dobra near Nowogard (West Pomeranian Voivodeship) have become parents – on 1 and 2 May, the first two young hatched.

If all goes well, they should be joined by the third any minute. Emitel employees participated in a competition to name the adult falcons. The results of the contest have been announced and the falcons have been named Emilka and Grześ.

Emitel has made space available for a nest on its premises in Dobra, financed cameras and is carrying out online transmissions. The “Falcon” Society for Wild Animals installed the nest. The daily life of the falcon family can be watched live on the website of the “Falcon” Society, which takes care of the birds, at: http://peregrinus.pl/dobra.

“We are glad that by cooperating with the “Falcon” Association we can contribute to the growth of the population of peregrine falcons, which is an endangered species. In the company, we call Grześ and Emilka and their chicks ‘our falcons’ because we are very committed to this initiative,” said Grzegorz Dwórnik, Product Manager at Emitel S.A., who is coordinating the project.

In the first few days after the young falcons have hatched, the male will provide them and the female with food. Later, when the chicks are more independent, the female will also go hunting. After about 3 weeks the chicks will be ringed by members of the “Falcon” Society. At the age of 5–6 weeks, the young falcons will start learning to fly.

“Almost all pairs of falcons out of the dozen or so that can be viewed live on our website have welcomed offspring this season. We hope that this will be another successful breeding season,” said Sławomir Sielicki, President of the “Falcon” Society for Wild Animals.

Emitel also supports transmission from the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, where falcons have been nesting since 1998. The Warsaw falcon pair, Giga and Franek, have three chicks this year, which hatched a week before the young falcons in Dobra. The camera view is available under the link http://peregrinus.pl/pl/warszawa-pkin-podglad-z-warszawy.

More info:

Agnieszka Sobucka

PR Manager, Spokesperson

mobile: +48 507 710 701

e-mail: Agnieszka.Sobucka@emitel.pl

 

Sławomir Sielicki

President of the “Falcon” Society for Wild Animals

mobile: +48 608 36 56 46

e-mail: falco@peregrinus.pl