Turkey commissions first domestic base station

Published 17.05.2018 23:09

Built by local defense giant ASELSAN, Turkey's first locally built base station, ULAK, entered service yesterday, on the eve of World Telecommunication Day.

The base station will assess the opportunities that might arise with 5G technology.Speaking at the inauguration event at Kars Cultural Center, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said it will become much more meaningful in the era of information and communication, and that with this awareness, they are working to expand the communication sector and make Turkey a leader in this field.

The government aims to bring advanced information and communication technologies to citizens and bring the information society to every corner of the country, Arslan said, adding that they want to promote domestic and national production in every field.

He said the ministry's universal service projects must use products that are manufactured locally.

"For the first phase of the ULAK Project, we predicted a localization rate of 10 percent for 799 stations and later increased it to 43 percent," Arslan said.

"For the second phase, we predicted a 30 percent localization rate for 472 stations which ultimately reached 54 percent. Our ministry fully supports the national communication industry. These studies are now starting to bear fruit," he said.

Pointing out that ULAK is the first fully indigenous 4.5G base station, the minister said it is a giant step in the field of communications, which closely concerns national security and requires national production.

Referring to the project for the common use of fiber optic infrastructure, Arslan said in order to avoid duplicate investments in the fiber optic infrastructure they will hold a launch event for the joint use, development and operation of fiber optic with the participation of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Arslan said if each operator invests separately in the next period, the investment of each operator will reach TL 25 billion ($5.61 billion), while there will be an extra cost of about TL 10 billion if Türk Telekom invests separately and the other operators invest together.

"With the launch, the need will be met with an investment of TL 4 billion instead of TL 25 billion," the minister said.

About the experimental satellite developed jointly by the Directorate General of Aeronautics and Space Technologies (HUTGM) and Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ), Arslan said that the satellite was placed into orbit using Space X's Falcon 9 launch vehicle and has begun to send data.

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