Minister heralds 3G auction in November, after MNP

18 Jun 2008

Turkey’s Communications Minister Binali Yildirim announced yesterday that the government may relaunch a 3G mobile licence auction in November. The result of last year’s UMTS tender was annulled when GSM market leader Turkcell was the sole bidder for a concession, after agreeing to pay EUR321 million (USD445 million) in September. Turkey’s other two mobile operators, Vodafone Turkey (Telsim) and Avea, owned by incumbent fixed line telco Turk Telecom, plus France’s Orange, all requested tender conditions but did not bid. Telsim, the country’s second placed cellco in terms of subscribers, and third placed player Avea, were pessimistic of their chances of competing effectively in the Turkish 3G market, arguing that holding the tender before the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) unfairly benefited the market leader. The date for introducing MNP has since been brought forward to 13 November, hopefully paving the way for a fully competitive 3G auction.

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