EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kaan Terzioglu, Turkcell CEO, is keen to replicate the operator’s domestic model combining fixed and mobile assets across Eurasia, should it be successful in acquiring TeliaSonera’s 59 per cent stake in joint venture Fintur.

TeliaSonera announced plans last year to exit from the Eurasia region, paving the way for Turkcell to take control of Fintur, the Eurasian holding company of which it already owns a 41.5 per cent stake.

If the bid is successful, Turkcell will significantly beef up its presence in Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Speaking to Mobile World Live shortly after announcing intentions to take full control of Fintur, Terzioglu said he has been buoyed to expand by the company’s recent expansion into the Ukraine, where it took full control of Astelit (now under the Life brand) and launched 3G in the country.

“When Teliasonera said they would not be operating in these markets, we immediately saw an opportunity,” he said. “I believe the model we have built in Turkey around digital services is relevant across all these markets. In Ukraine our expansion has been very similar. We already have more than two million 3G subscribers from our 13 million base, and when I see these examples it increases my confidence if we do end up with more responsibilities for Fintur.

Terzioglu reiterated his desire to use Ukraine as a “pilot” country for wider international expansion, adding that the country is very much like Poland, in terms of growth potential.

In domestic Turkey, with the launch of 4G services imminent, Terzioglu believes the company’s €1.62 billion investment in last year’s auction on spectrum has secured its “technological leadership for the next 13 years”.

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