Mobile operators in Turkey in urgent need of more frequencies to meet skyrocketing demand
Sefer Levent - ISTANBUL
AFP photoTurkey has an urgent need for more mobile frequencies to meet a skyrocketing demand for broadband services and the required steps should be taken immediately to open the way for such investments, said Hasan Süel, the vice chairman of Vodafone Turkey’s executive board.
“While the need for mobile voice services has not been increasing, we see a dramatic rise in demand for broadband services, through which pictures and videos are being uploaded or downloaded. To be able to invest in the latest broadband technologies, we need more frequencies. If these frequencies are not offered to us, the sector will deadlock in the next few years,” Süel said.
The planned tender for 4G Internet technology for more frequencies has been delayed for three months, the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) said in a statement on May 15. The BTK announced the tender will be made on Aug. 26 this year, after a three-month delay. The announcement follows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s harsh criticism of 4G technology, saying Turkey should skip directly from a 3G network to a 5G one in two years. As a new government has still not been formed, the sector players expect more delays, and possibly even the cancelation in the tender.
“Political uncertainties are not an obstacle to delay any steps in the sector. As Vodafone representatives, we see this sector policy as a national issue. When we take additional frequencies through air and lay down fiber cables under the ground, our country will be an epicenter for Information and Communication Technologies [ICT],” he said, adding they want additional frequencies to invest in the latest technologies in the sector.
“There is no reason to wait more. In contrast, it will cost more for our country to wait, as the demand for such technologies have been increasing rapidly,” he noted.
According to him, Turkey now uses almost one-fourth of the frequencies which are available across Europe.
Süel noted there are two basic elements of broadband technologies.
“One of them is ‘landline’ elements. As we had discussed earlier, Turkey needs to be equipped with fiber networks in the framework of a national broadband policy. There is also another element: Mobile technologies. I mean, the sector needs mobile broadband frequencies to support its landline elements to meet the rising demand for mobile tools’ applications. If the required frequencies are not offered, we believe there will be a bottleneck in data circulation in Turkey,” he said.