Turkey’s Telecommunications Authority has announced that it successfully auctioned three 3G mobile network operating licences on Friday, raising a total of EUR822 million (USD1.04 billion). The country’s leading cellco by subscribers, Turkcell won the ‘A’ licence with the largest bandwidth block of 40MHz, with a bid of EUR358 million. Turkcell’s closest rival in the subscriber market, Vodafone Turkey, won a licence with a 35MHz spectrum allocation via a draw after the UK-backed company and Turkey’s third-largest cellular operator Avea both placed bids of EUR250 million, with both firms refusing to increase them. Avea had to settle for a 30MHz concession, for which it was the sole bidder, offering EUR214 million. The Board of Information Technologies & Communication subsequently cancelled the auction for a fourth UMTS licence due to a lack of bidders. Turkcell was reported as saying that its 3G network would be operational by mid-2009.