Vodafone Turkey emerged as the highest bidder in the country’s 4G auction, which started today (26 August), after tabling an offer of €390 million for a package in the 800MHz band.
Rivals Avea and Turkcell bid slightly less, offering €380 million and €373 million, respectively, for two other packages in the same band, according to Reuters.
The tender, dubbed the 4.5G auction by the country’s Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK), will see an auction of spectrum in 20 segments, and has a reported base price of €2.3 billion.
Early indicators suggest the highest bidding will be targeted at 800MHz bandwidth, which is essential for 4G networks.
Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan controversially claimed earlier this year that the country could skip 4G altogether and move straight from 3G to 5G.
His comments came a month before the country was due to launch its 4G tender, which was then postponed for three months.
According to reports, regulators have now added several revisions to the tender documents, including provisions related to operators increasing the amount of Research and Development in the sector.
Turkcell considers 10% share buyback
Turkcell is separately evaluating plans to buyback up to 10 per cent of its outstanding shares in a bid to avoid any potential losses that may arise due to “global macroeconomic turmoil”.
The Turkish operator said in a statement it is considering the possible buyback “with a view to avoid any potential immediate and significant losses that may arise due to global macroeconomic turmoil and its possible reflection on Turkish capital markets”.
Kaan Terzioglu, Turkcell’s CEO, has now been authorised to make contact and seek approval from the country’s Capital Markets Board, and any other related institutions, regarding the move.
In a separate announcement, the company said it was also evaluating borrowing alternatives for a value of up to $3 billion, which could be utilised for refinancing needs, and to “fund infrastructure investments and any other potential investment opportunities”.