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Turkey awards 3G licences

01 декабря 2008

Turkey's long-running 3G licensing saga came to a head on Friday when the country's three main mobile operators were all awarded licences.

A fourth available 3G licence was cancelled due to a lack of interest.

Turkcell, the country's largest mobile operator, announced that it won licence A in the competition, which it says provides the widest frequency band, with a bid of €358 million, excluding VAT.

"I the current global macro economic climate Turkcell is eager to roll out this new technology, which will highlight Turkey in international competition, to its customers and the business community as soon as possible," said Turkcell CEO Sureyya Ciliv.

Vodafone came out on top for licence B, with a bid of €250 million, and Turk Telekom-owned Avea secured the C class licence for €214 million.

The final approval from Turkey's Information Technologies and Communications Board, which organised the tender, came later on Friday.

The board's chairman Tayfun Acarer was quoted by Reuters as saying he expects 3G networks to be launched in summer 2009.

A previous attempt by Turkey to award 3G licences failed last year after Turkcell was the only bidder to come forward. The operator secured a licence with a US$500 million bid, but the process was subsequently cancelled due to the lack of competition.

Speaking to Total Telecom in Barcelona earlier this year, Cenk Serdar, CEO of all non-voice activities at Turkcell, predicted that Vodafone and Avea would take part this time around. 

However, he also said he believed there would be interest in the fourth licence from operators based outside of Turkey.

While that interest did not materialise, Reuters noted that the final, lower-frequency licence could still be auctioned off at a later date, or the spectrum could be distributed between the existing players.

Источник: Total Telecom

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