MVNO probes Turkish Virgin tie-up

14 Sep 2012

Fast-growing international mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile is in talks with Turkish mobile giant Turkcell regarding the establishment of an MVNO in Turkey, Reuters reports. While the UK-based reseller stopped short of confirming that a deal is on the table, it confirmed that it has entered ‘preliminary discussions with various parties’ in Turkey. An unnamed source with first-hand knowledge of the matter told Reuters: ‘Virgin Mobile wants to become an MVNO in Turkey, so they have been talking to companies in the market. They have reached a certain level in talks with Turkcell’.

Nick Fox, director of financial communications for the Virgin Group, confirmed: ‘We continue to look at new opportunities across Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Turkey is one of those markets we are analysing and we are having some preliminary discussions with various parties. We feel Turkey would be a great Virgin Mobile market. Double taxation does continue to be an issue. [Turkey takes 15% tax on gross sales from both mobile operators and their MVNO partners]. In spite of this we are looking at ways to make Turkey work as a market for a Virgin Mobile launch in the future’.

The head of Turkey’s regulator Bilgi Teknolojileri ve Iletisim Kurumu (BTK), Tayfun Acarer, confirmed that Virgin has not yet filed an application to enter the market as an MVNO.

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