Turks spend $13.3 billion on telecommunications

Turks spend $13.3 billion on telecommunications

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turks spend $13.3 billion on telecommunications

Hürriyet Photo

Turks spent more than 35.5 billion Turkish Liras ($13.3 billion) on telecommunications last year, up from 32.2 billion liras ($12.2 billion) in 2013, according to a report released by the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) on March 27.

Over 80 percent of the amount spent went on Turkey’s top four telecommunication companies, the report stated.

The revenue of the four leading telecommunications companies (landline provider Turk Telekom and mobile networks providers Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea) jumped 8.6 percent annually, rising from 25.9 billion liras in 2013 to 28.1 billion liras ($10.1 billion). Their net sales reached 7.4 billion liras ($2.9 billion) last year, an increase of 16 percent compared with the previous year.

In the same period, these same companies also invested more than 4.1 billion liras ($1.6 billion), up by 9 percent from 2013.

According to the report, the number of mobile phone subscribers in Turkey increased to nearly 72 million in 2014 from 69.6 million in 2013, with more than 57 million 3G subscribers. Overall mobile penetration rate stood at 93.8 percent in 2014.

According to the BTK, Turkey’s mobile phone imports decreased by 0.57 percent in 2014, mainly from China, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan. Turkey imported 14.6 million mobile devices in 2014, down from 15.8 million mobile devices in 2013. In 2012, the country had imported 13.2 million mobile phones.
Local production increased by 208 percent last year, rising to nearly 1.1 million mobile devices from 346,746 in 2013.

Turkey’s local producers want the government to impose emergency import tariffs on mobile phones in order to boost local production further. The country already imposes strict controls on mobile phones imported by individuals, blocking handsets after 20 days in the country from using a local Turkish SIM card unless they are registered and their tax paid.

Half of imported phones in Turkey are smartphones. The cost of these imports was estimated to be around 10 billion liras ($3.8 billion) in 2013.

Experts estimate that the impact of mobile phone imports, boosted by the rising demand for smartphones, added almost $5 billion to Turkey’s current account deficit in 2013.

Last year, Turkish and foreign visitors brought 612,913 mobile phones to Turkey, down from 1.08 million in 2013. Visitors (including Turkish citizens who visit other countries) are entitled to bring one mobile phone into Turkey over the course of two calendar years.