Three mobile operators win rights to ‘advanced’ 4G network

Three mobile operators win rights to ‘advanced’ 4G network

Three mobile operators win rights to ‘advanced’ 4G network

AA photo

Turkey’s three existing mobile operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea, have won the rights to the country’s advanced 4G network due to be established for a sum of more than 3.9 billion euros, in the Aug. 26 tender held by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority.

Another bidder, Netgsm, declined to make an offer.

The new network will offer consumers the ability to use new technologies, including 5G, providing faster surfing, downloads and uploads as well as improved calling. The total amount of spectrum available will be increased by three times when the new network goes online.

The rights to the frequencies will last until April 30, 2029.

A tender for 4G technologies had been announced earlier, but was delayed for three months in May. The tender was then announced for technologies dubbed “4.5G” with several revisions in the tender documents to increase the level of domestic research and development elements in the sector, according to officials. The rearrangement came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harshly criticized 4G technology, saying Turkey should skip directly from 3G to 5G, which does not yet exist, within two years.

Ömer Fatih Sayan, was appointed the head of the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) on Aug. 25, ahead of the key tender. Sayan had been the acting president of the unit since the beginning of this summer.

There are 20 packets up for tender in the final offer, each comprising different frequencies in the total available spectrum licensed by the Authority.

Frequency-division duplexing (FDD) means that the transmitter and receiver operate at different carrier frequencies.

Vodafone Turkey was the highest bidder for packet A1, at 800 MHz FDD of the Turkish mobile spectrum, offering 390 million euros ($446.8 million).

Avea was the highest bidder for packet A2, at 800 MHz FDD, offering 380 million euros ($435.4 million). Turkcell was the highest bidder for packet A3, at 800 MHz FDD, bidding 373 million euros.

The minimum price was set at 373 million euros for the A1, A2 and A3 packets.

Avea was highest bidder for packet B1, at 900 MHz FDD, offering 216.8 million euros. Vodafone and Turkcell bid the same amount for packet B2, at 900 MHz FDD. After new bids were requested, Vodafone won with 40 million euros, which was the minimum price set by the communication regulator.