Türk Telekom’s investments to reach 20 billion liras by year-end
ISTANBULTürk Telekom Group has allocated two thirds of its investments, which by the end of this year will be approximately 20 billion Turkish Liras ($6.7 billion) since 2005, to infrastructure and fiber, CEO Rami Aslan said on Sept. 2.
“This infrastructure will create the digital backbone of 4.5G technology and all sorts of next-generation mobile technologies in Turkey,” Aslan told reporters during a press meeting with Consumer Business Unit CEO Erkan Akdemir and Corporate Business Unit CEO Mehmet Ali Akarca. The trio had evaluated the results of the spectrum tender held last week in Ankara.
Aslan emphasized that they would pay the tender price in cash, bond or credit, saying they had enough cash to be ready for the next round.
“We do have a very strong balance sheet, we have enough cash for the next round,” he said, adding that the group has the capability to minimize the effect of ongoing exchange rate fluctuations.
Turkey’s three existing mobile operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea, won the rights to the country’s advanced 4G network, dubbed “4.5G,” at the Aug. 26 tender held by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK). The network is due to be established for a sum of more than 3.9 billion euros.
CEO Aslan emphasized that the frequency allocation normalizes the industry and creates a competitive environment where all operators can compete equally.
For his part, Akdemir said Türk Telekom has the power to shape the competition after purchasing 30 percent of the spectrum.
“We have the highest rate of frequency per subscriber in terms of coverage and capacity. The tender has removed the inequality in the market, especially after the distribution of the 900 Mhz band,” he said.
Meanwhile, Akdemir dismissed criticism that Turkey will become a “cellphone dump” after the introduction of 4.5G technology. “Even 2G and 3G technologies will still be being used, so Turkey won’t be a dump,” he said.
Corporate Business Unit CEO Akarca said things would “never be the same again” after the introduction of the 4.5G technology.
“New job opportunities will arise with 4.5G in all industries, from energy and retail to automation and health,” he said.