TUR: Voda commits to Turkish 3G

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Vodafone is to invest over one billion Turkish lira (£410 million) over the next 12 months in its Turkish arm following the launch of 3G in Turkey last week.

Vodafone Turkey, the country’s second largest operator, with a market share of around 25 per cent, announced in Istanbul last week, it would be investing one billion Turkish lira in building new 3G network technology. 

The news follows the launch on July 30 of 3G services by Vodafone, its rival Turkcell and fixed line operator Turk Telekom.

The launch of a 3G network in Turkey has been delayed a number of times since 3G spectrum was first put up for auction in 2007, due to insufficient bids by Turkish operators.

Finally, Vodafone paid a reported $250 million for 35MHz of available spectrum, while Turk Telekom paid $214 million for 30MHz.

Turkish operator Turkcell, which has more than 36.4 million customers and a leading market share of 56 per cent, outbid Vodafone for the largest spectrum, 40MHz, paying $358 million.

Turkcell last week also announced plans to expand its business in the 3G market with the launch of 30 products at a press conference in Istanbul. These included a range of netbooks, notebooks and handsets, supporting an array of web services such as mobile TV and Facebook.

Turkcell chief executive Sureyya Ciliv said: “We were the ones that wanted 3G the most and finally we made this technology Turkey’s gain.”

Vodafone’s financial commitment to the Turkish market look likely to preclude it swapping its Turkish operation for Deutsche Telekom’s UK T-Mobile business in the short-term at least.

The Turkish mobile market has become more competitive since December 2008, when the ability to port numbers between networks was introduced. Turkey’s mobile penetration is currently 88 per cent.

 

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