Turks mobile chatterboxes of Europe, official data say

Turks mobile chatterboxes of Europe, official data say

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turks mobile chatterboxes of Europe, official data say

Turks talk nearly 5 hours a month on the mobile phone, according to ministry data. DHA photo

Turkey leads European countries for mobile phone use, with 299 minutes of phone use per month per person on average, according to data from the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications. This information has whetted the appetite of local phone operators for investment.

Turkey achieved its 2015 targets for the mobile phone industry in 2012, thanks to strategies in technology and communications that have lifted the country from the level of Africa to that of Europe and beyond, Minister Binali Yıldırım told the Anatolia news agency.

Broadband internet service access is one indicator of the country’s level of development, Yıldırım said. “While the number of broadband access subscribers was less than 100,000 ten years ago, today the number exceeds 19 million, 11 million of whom are mobile internet subscribers. This means that there are a total of 50 million internet users in Turkey. The number of mobile internet subscribers has increased more than 80 percent.”

The number of mobile phone subscribers is nearly 67 million, and there are nearly 39 million 3G subscribers, Yıldırım said. Some 58 percent of mobile phone subscribers also use 3G, which is well above the European average of 30 percent, he noted.

The volume of mobile traffic is also increasing rapidly, data show. The total volume of mobile traffic was 43.5 billion minutes in the second quarter of the year. The volume of mobile phone talking time and text messaging is expected to expand about 20 percent this year, Yıldırım said.

“Particularly in the last 10 years, the mobile phone sector has witnessed very rapid development. Now Turkey is number one in Europe in terms of monthly mobile phone talking time, at 299 minutes [per user] on average,” Yıldırım said.

The government supported liberalization and competition in the mobile phone market after 2003, Yıldırım said, adding that the market share of TTNet, the leading internet provider, had receded to 76.3 percent as of the second quarter of 2012.

Meanwhile, the expanding mobile market in Turkey has encouraged GSM operators to increase their investments, data show. GSM operators’ infrastructure investments in the first quarter of the year reached 527 million Turkish Liras, according to a report from the Information Technologies and Communication Agency (BTK). Vodafone was the top investor, with 232 million liras in investment, while Turkcell made investments worth 160 million liras, and Avea invested 135 million liras.

The number of base stations in Turkey was up 222 percent in 2011 when compared to 2002, reaching a total of 49,361, the BTK report said.