(AA) – The launch of 4G mobile services in Turkey should get a popular reception, analysts say.
“Turkey’s 3G market continues to outperform despite the late launch of services. The latest Information and Communications Technology Authority data show active 3G subscriptions increased 41.4 percent year-on-year to 31.1 million in the third quarter of 2014,” according to a report from researcher BMI Telecommunications published on Jan. 15, 2015.
Turks also love to mobile shop. Research from PayPal published in February showed that almost 53 percent of Turkish consumers had purchased goods or services with a smartphone in the past 12 months. In the Middle East, only Dubai has more at 57 percent.
-What is 4G?
4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone technology and follows on from 2G and 3G, according to a definition by U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom. The 2G technology was suitable for making calls and sending text messages, while 3G makes it possible to access the internet more effectively through your mobile phone.
4G services should make it much quicker to surf the web on your mobile, tablets and laptops – speeds will be nearer to what you currently experience with home broadband.
Because of this, 4G is ideally suited for services which demand more capacity like video streaming, mapping and social networking sites, Ofcom said. For the typical user, download speeds of initial 4G networks could be around five to seven times those for existing 3G networks.
This means a music album taking 20 minutes to download on a 3G phone and just over three minutes on 4G. This is based on existing 3G speeds being one megabit on average and 4G speed being six megabits.
-Turkish telecoms market shows strong growth
The Turkish telecommunications market has displayed strong growth over the last few years, the BMI report said.
“However, there was pressure on operator financial performance. Despite this, we believe that the mobile market will expand in 2014; strong growth will also come from pay-television subscriptions as well as from fiber and cable broadband expansion,” the report said.
Much of this growth will come at the expense of the fixed-line market, the report said.
“As a result, BMI has downgraded its outlook for fixed-line growth. The largest operators, Turk Telekom and Turkcell, are responding with an increased emphasis on fixed-mobile service bundles, with TV central to those offerings,” the report added.
Smartphone ownership continues to grow in Turkey, underpinned by the availability of more affordable mid-range Android handsets, the report continues. Turkcell reported that 35 percent of its subscription base used smartphones in the second quarter of 2014, compared with 36 percent at Vodafone and 47 percent at Avea, the report said.
Another casualty of smartphone popularity is SMS revenue. Turks sent 12 percent fewer SMS per subscription in 2013, as the use of mobile messaging and email took off, the report said.
-Launch of 4G
The Turkish Ministry for Transport and Telecommunications announced the tenders to build a 4G network in the country Wednesday.
Analysts noted that the significant data traffic growth in Turkey has made the evolution from 3G to 4G a necessity. Data use has grown 100 percent year-on-year since 3G services were launched in the country in 2009, according to TurkCell statistics.
While 3G technology is a relatively new development in the country, having been introduced in 2008, it has expanded quickly, observed analysts at the Oxford Business Group in a note published at the end of last year.
The 4G network, with its increased speed, is expected to bring better service to smartphone users in the country, who are increasingly using their handsets for internet access, the OBG analysts said.
“The increasing popularity of mobile phones and the prevalence of smartphones in particular have led local service providers to begin offering a wider range of smartphone products and promotions. The new system will be an answer to the many mobile providers who have expressed their desire to expand into 4G services, believing these will help them to further increase their offerings and remain competitive,” the OBG analyst said