Advanced 4G to come online in Turkey April 1
ANKARA/ISTANBULAdvanced 4G technologies, dubbed 4.5G technologies, were set to come online in Turkey in the early hours of April 1 after months of preparation, according to the country’s communications minister. Mobile internet speed is expected to accelerate by 10 times with the launch of the new technologies.
Transportation, Communications and Maritime Affairs Minister Binali Yıldırım said the transition to 4.5G technologies will be gradual and all 81 provinces will probably begin to use these technologies by the end of this year.
“The 4.5G technologies will come online at specific points in all city centers across Turkey as of April 1. It will however take time for very small places populated by around 250-500 people to start to use these technologies. Some 95 percent of the country will be covered by these technologies by 2023,” he said on March 31.
“High speed mobile communication will start soon, but I should warn especially young consumers of the future bills, which will likely be higher,” he said. “The faster you want to connect to the Internet, the higher your bill may be as you will be reaching the data quite fast and won’t probably understand how long you are connected to the Internet for with the new faster technologies coming online,” he noted.
Yıldırım said some 40 percent of the country’s 74 million mobile phone subscribers will be able to use these technologies without changing their phones.
Turkey’s three existing mobile operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea, won the rights to the country’s advanced 4G network, dubbed 4.5G in Turkey, to be established for a sum of more than 3.9 billion euros in an Aug. 26, 2015, tender held by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).
A row has, however, risen over rivals wanting cheaper access to partly state-owned Türk Telekom’s fiber optic network, saying that otherwise they cannot compete in a market where fixed-line and mobile services are set to converge.
Türk Telekom has spent 20 billion Turkish Liras ($7 billion) over the last decade building the country’s most extensive fiber-optic network and is looking to bundle high-speed fixed line and mobile services into a single contract to attract more mobile customers.
Its rivals have offered to build the network together in various platforms.
Yıldırım said a “joint investment” requirement will be introduced for the companies in the places which are populated by less than 10,000 people.
“One base station will be established in small places rather than one by each. All companies will benefit from this station. We are reviewing two different models in the fiber network. We will abolish all obstacles and create an open climate with clear rules or we will launch a joint system which will be open to the use of all companies. We will choose the most feasible system,” he said.