Turkey’s Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications announced that the country’s 4G auction will take place on 26 August, three months later than the Information and Communication Technologies Agency had originally planned.
The delay comes only weeks after a strange intervention by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that Turkey, which has yet to see commercial 4G services, should jump directly from 3G to 5G.
“It is not necessary to waste time with 4G technologies”, he had said, according to local reports, and warned that Turkey would become a “garbage dump” for 4G equipment.
The President further envisaged that Turkey could adopt 5G within two years, even though the general industry consensus is commercial availability of standardised 5G — still to be defined – will not be ready until at least 2020.
Perhaps as a show of respect to the President, the government postponed the multi-band auction – which includes 800MHz frequencies – though there’s no sign (yet) of cancellation.
“The president’s remarks were meant to be instructions”, said Nurettin Canikli, a Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli, quoted by Haberturk. “He is the semi-executive president, and the head of the executive branch. We should pay attention to what he says.”
Mobile World Live, when news broke of the President’s 5G remarks, asked Turkey’s mobile operators for reaction, but they would not be drawn on making a direct comment. Instead, they voiced support for both 4G and 5G.