Turkish firms want more infrastructure amid 4.5G launch

Published 04.04.2016 23:36

An informatics association in Turkey warned Monday about the need for an extra 450,000 kilometers of new substructure investment in the country. Speaking to reporters, the head of the Istanbul-based Turkish Mobile Service Provider Businessmen's Association (MOBILSIAD), Kerem Alkin, presented a report on a proposed national broadband plan. Advanced fourth-generation (4G) telecom services - dubbed 4.5G in Turkey - became operational in the country on April 1.

"A new life has begun [for Turkey] after getting 4.5G," Alkin said, adding the 77-million-strong country's national broadband plan should include three strategic targets: The availability of 100 megabit per second access speeds starting from 30 Mbps in every part of the country, optic fiber infrastructure should total at least 450,000 kilometers and copper cable-based broadband infrastructure, which is worn out, should be made from fiber optic cable.

He added that the national broadband plan should be prepared with broad industry participation from all parties, and said around 13 countries have already prepared a similar strategic plan.

According to the Turkish Competitive Telco Operators' Association (TELKODER), Turkey has already established slightly more than 250,000 kilometers of fiber optic infrastructure as of the first quarter of 2016. Turk Telecom, one of Turkey's three major mobile telecommunications operators, already owns nearly 200,000 kilometers of this infrastructure.

Turkey's three mobile operators - Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom - won the rights to the country's advanced 4.5G network after paying more than 3.9 billion euros in a tender held by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) last August.

According to the BTK, 4.5G technology will offer consumers the ability to use new technologies and provide faster browsing, download and upload speeds. The total amount of spectrum available will be increased three-fold as well, while the rights to the frequencies will last until April 30, 2029.

According to the Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry's figures released in 2015, the number of third-generation (3G) mobile technology subscribers has reached 61.1 million in Turkey. The figures show that the number of cellphone subscribers reached 72 million, while the number of broadband Internet subscribers had increased to more than 44 million in the second quarter of 2015 from just 6 million in 2008.

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