Zaytung, 5G and the 'New' Turkey

Zaytung, 5G and the 'New' Turkey

The title of this article should have been “Zaytung and 5G or you can surf the net faster as long as you behave as I want you to.” President Tayyip Erdoğan spoke about Turkey’s mobile network at an event earlier this week. He said Turkey is on 3G, whereas many countries have already begun installing 5G and LTE networks. He said, “We will waste time with 4G technology and should move to 5G in two years, or else Turkey will become a garbage dump for 4G technology.” 

He said this in the middle of the 4G bidding process. Turkey expects to complete a tender for fourth-generation mobile data services in May and be able to offer the service to consumers by the end of this year, Communication Minister Lütfi Elvan said March 4.

Elvan said the legal process had been completed and there would be tenders for the 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 megahertz (Mhz) bandwidths, amid increasing mobile Internet traffic in the country.

Elvan added the aim is to enable a least 90 percent of the population to have 4G coverage in the next six years. 

“We will complete the tender process by the end of May and open the service by the end of the year,” he said, adding there would be a place for a new operator to bid in the tender as well as the existing three operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea. “The fourth operator will be able to bid only for the 2600 Mhz, but will be free from other operating obligations with the GSM trio,” he said.

By trashing 4G, the president made it clear he doesn’t want the current government’s efforts on continuing the 4G bidding. 

This is not a good sign for foreign investors who were thinking about attending the 4G bid in Turkey and Erdoğan’s statements will definitely get the bids lower. 

I don’t want to argue if he is right or wrong; he just intervened with the government’s technology management and caused Turkey to lose a lot of money with a single speech. 

I am sure that no one will tell him that what he has done is wrong. Besides, he had been the prime minister for the last decade and if Turkey is still using 3G, the responsibility is his, but no one will tell him this either. 

In the meanwhile, a university student was sentenced to a year in prison by a court in Adana because he shared a Zaytung article on Jan 6, 2014. The punishment was not carried out due to the fact that the student did not have any prior crimes, but if he does the same thing again he will get this year as an addition to his future time in prison. Zaytung is The Onion of Turkey. They publish unrealistic and funny news stories as if they are real. The title of the news story that got a university student a year in prison was “The Major in Adana has more power than Tayyip Erdoğan.” 

Erdoğan is very keen on having a speedier Internet connection, but as long as we behave as he wants. If you read, write and like what he wants, it is okay to have broadband Internet. If not, than not only you will not be able to surf the net but you might spend a year or so in prison. This is the “New” Turkey for you.