Regulator to nullify Turkcell’s 3G award, says ministry man

14 Sep 2007

Turkey’s Telecommunications Board will meet next week to discuss whether to approve the award of the country’s first 3G licence to mobile market leader Turkcell, which was granted on 7 September. Turkcell bid EUR321 million (USD440 million) for the ‘A’ class concession, including 45MHz of UMTS spectrum, but it was the sole participant in the tender after domestic rivals Avea and Vodafone pulled out, complaining that mobile number portability should be introduced before 3G licences are granted to avoid giving Turkcell an unfair competitive advantage. An official from the Ministry of Transport and Communications told local newspaper Dunya that he believes that the regulator will not approve the award, on the grounds of there being only one bidder, and that even if the Board does OK the tender, the Council of State is likely to block the deal on competition grounds.

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