With the ambition to occupy a leading position in digital transformation to facilitate economic growth and development, Turkey has ramped up investment projects in communication technologies. The total amount of investments made by the enterprises last year increased by 15.3 percent compared to the previous year, reaching TL 9.4 billion, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan said. Türk Telekom and other mobile operators also raised their investments by 14.5 percent to TL 6.7 billion.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) published Monday, Turhan assessed the Turkey Electronic Communications Industry Market Data Report prepared by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA).
The minister noted that the developments in the industry, which has a stable growth trend, are reflected on the revenues generated by the operators, the investments made and the increasing number of subscribers. He also said that the operators in the electronic communication industry reached a net sale of approximately TL 58 billion at the end of last year, marking an increase of 15.4 percent compared to the previous year.
Emphasizing that subscribers continue to take great interest in mobile technologies that are rapidly developing in Turkey as in the rest of the world, Turhan added that the number of mobile subscribers reached 80.1 million at the end of last year. Also, the number of subscribers to the 4.5G service has increased at a rapid pace since April 2016 when service began, exceeding 71.3 million at the end of the year.
99 PCT OF TURKISH POPULATION MOBILE USERS
According to the transport and infrastructure minister, the increase in the number of mobile subscribers was up by 3 percent at the end of last year compared to the previous year, which indicates a 99 percent mobile subscriber penetration in proportion to population. Turhan remarked that, in addition to the increase in the number of subscribers to the 4.5G service, the number of subscribers, whose devices and SIM cards are compatible with 4.5G and who can actively use 4.5G service, has reached 40.2 million.
Pointing out that the number of 3G subscribers has declined to 6.6 million as a result of the spread of 4.5G, Turhan said, "Mobile technologies are used for the communication of individuals as well as for the communication of machines with each other. This service, which is called Machine to Communication (M2M), has a growing structure in our country."
The number of M2M subscribers exceeded 5.2 million at the end of 2018 from 1.1 million in 2011, marking a 16 percent rise. "Within the framework of our country's goal of being one of the first countries to switch to 5G with local and national means, mobile technologies with 5G technology with much higher speeds and lower latencies will be used more in industrial and service industries. This will bring significant benefits by increasing productivity in the economic development of our country," the minister said.
74.5 MILLION BROADBAND USERS IN 2018
Indicating that broadband internet services are one of the most rapidly developing electronic communications services in Turkey, Turhan said: "As a result of the fact that 4.5G service, which started in 2016, has introduced people with much faster mobile internet and that the investments made in fiber infrastructure have made it easier to access fiber, the number of both our mobile and fixed broadband subscribers has continued to increase. At the end of 2018, the number of broadband subscribers increased by 8.2 percent to 74.5 million compared to the previous year. The number of mobile broadband subscribers has reached 61.1 million and the number of fixed broadband internet subscribers has reached 13.4 million."
According to the minister, in terms of the increase in the number of fixed broadband internet subscribers, the highest annual increase of 44.5 percent is seen in the number of "fiber to the home" subscribers, nearing 1.5 million.
Turhan stated that the total number of fiber subscribers has reached 2.8 million with an increase of nearly 20 percent compared to the previous year, adding that the number of cable internet subscribers and xDSL subscribers reached 932,000 and 9.5 million, respectively.
Turhan iterated that the high speeds brought by developing infrastructures and technology also allowed subscribers to consume more data and, as a result, total data traffic in 2018 reached 17.1 million terabytes with an increase of 33 percent compared to 2017. Turhan said that about 3.2 million of it was mobile traffic.
Indicating that the increase in mobile data traffic has exceeded 57 percent, Turhan said that the data consumption by fixed internet subscribers has neared 14 million terabytes, up by 28 percent compared to the previous year.
The minister added that the length of the fiber infrastructure, which is essential for both mobile and fixed broadband, increased by 9 percent compared to the previous year, reaching 355,000 kilometers.