Telcos Eye New Opportunities as Turkey Gears Up for 4G Rollout


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4G investments in Turkey are expected to start this year via spectrum auctions, and increase incrementally in subsequent years. And although there is no definitive recipe for a successful 4G launch, global technology consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC) believes a successful 4G marketing strategy has two main components – how the operator differentiates from its competitors and how this differentiation is communicated to end users.

"It is difficult to anticipate how mobile operators will position themselves during and after the launch of 4G services," says Fatma Ozdemir, program manager for telecommunications and media at IDC Turkey. "However, all three operators want to be first, in order to get and maintain a competitive advantage. Operators should reshape their broadband marketing strategies alongside the introduction of new technology in order to retain their leadership position, attack the market leaders, or increase their market shares."

IDC also believes that operators should look to emphasize the enhanced user experience, stressing the end-user benefits of 4G over 3G in particular. "Compared with 3G, users can download more content in the same amount of time, driving data-intensive downloads such as music and video streaming," says Ozdemir. "And by offering a significant reduction in round-trip delay time, 4G also creates a better user experience with respect to real-time applications such as VoIP, video calls, online gaming, and banking. Away from the consumer market, 4G can also be a game changer in the enterprise space thanks to its differentiating capabilities in providing businesses with high-performance collaboration solutions such as cloud-based unified communications and videoconferencing."

Despite a certain amount of progress with respect to 4G, a number of regulatory issues remain unresolved. Problems associated with the ineffective management of infrastructure sharing and right-of-way processes remain as barriers to countrywide adoption of 4G. With the introduction of 4G, mobile operators will be able to share passive components in base stations such as generators and towers; however, spectrum sharing is forbidden by the regulatory authority due to security concerns. "Since spectrum sharing is not allowed, the government should actually auction a broader range of radio spectrum to accommodate vast numbers of users without compromising Internet capacity and signal quality," says Ozdemir. "Operators are concerned that they might not receive enough spectrum to run high-capacity networks in the future."

About the Research

IDC's 'The 4G Landscape of Turkey: Challenges and Opportunities for Mobile Operators' (IDC #CEMA22927) provides an overview of the current 4G landscape in Turkey, and offers guidance to mobile operators on the transition from 3G to 4G networks. The insight also reveals the regulatory challenges Turkey has to overcome with respect to technology transition, including infrastructure sharing, right of way, and spectrum reallocation.

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