Turkey sets 4G frequency auction minimum price at 2.3 bln euros
AFP PhotoTurkey’s telecommunications regulator has set 2.3 billion euros ($2.44 billion) as the minimum price that mobile operators must pay to secure frequency bands for a new 4G network.
The successful tenderers could pay the price at once or in four equal installments every six months, plus interest, according to a decree from the cabinet published in the Official Gazette on March 18.
The 4G auction will be at frequencies from 800 MHz to 2,600 MHz in a total 20 segments, in May.
Turkey’s communication regulator, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, will tender the 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 megahertz bandwidths, providing consumers with “at least 10 times higher speed.”
Transport and Communication Minister Lütfi Elvan said March 4 that the aim was 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 that 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.
While 3G technology is a relatively new development in Turkey, having only been introduced in 2008, it has expanded very quickly. There were around 58 million 3G subscribers in Turkey at the end of 2014, and 71.8 million mobile phones, according to a report prepared by the BTK. This is much higher than the European average of around 30 percent.
The same trend is expected for 4G technologies as well.
4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone technology and follows on from 2G and 3G, according to a definition by U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom. 2G technology was suitable for making calls and sending text messages, while 3G makes it possible to access the Internet more effectively through a mobile phone.
4G services should make it much quicker to surf the web on mobile, tablets and laptops at speeds that will be closer to what people currently enjoy with home broadband.
Because of this, 4G is ideally suited for services which demand more capacity like video streaming, mapping and social networking sites, Ofcom said. For the typical user, the download speeds of initial 4G networks could be around five to seven times quicker than those for existing 3G networks.