Turkcell has proposed that all new wireless subscriptions by users with 3G-compatible mobile phones should be registered directly for 3G services from now on. Although Turkcell’s 3G network has been available in Turkey since July 2009, new subscribers are still registered for 2G-only services initially, and are not given access to the 3G network until they send an SMS request. The conversion is free of charge. Turkcell has submitted the proposal to Turkey’s telecommunications regulator, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK).
Turkcell Deputy General Manager Koray Ozturkler commented: ‘This will boost the number of 3G subscribers and avoid unnecessary expenses still needing to be made for 2G’. According to Ozturkler, six million of Turkcell’s 34 million subscribers currently use 3G services, although a further seven million users own 3G-compatible devices that haven’t actually been registered for 3G. If Turkcell’s proposal is approved, its number of 3G subscribers will automatically rise to 13 million. Ozturkler clarified that there is no difference in call charges for 2G and 3G subscribers, though there is a huge difference in quality. According to Ozturkler, 35% of 3G subscribers are on post-paid contracts, while the remaining users have pre-paid plans.