Turkey’s three main mobile operators have all been successful in winning new 3G licenses in the country. Market-leader Turkcell submitted the highest bid – €358 million – to secure the highest-frequency spectrum license on offer, while rivals Vodafone Turkey and Avea bid €250 million and €214 million, respectively, for 3G licenses in lower frequencies. All three bids surpassed the government’s reserve price for the licenses, though a fourth license was cancelled due to lack of interest. According to Reuters, Tayfun Acarer – chairman of Turkey’s Information Technologies and Communications Board – told reporters today that he expected the first 3G networks in the country to go live in Summer 2009.
The license tender is the second time the Turkish government has attempted to issue 3G licenses. An earlier auction in 2007 was cancelled as Turkcell was the only bidder. Vodafone and Avea had reportedly refused to take part in the process prior to mobile number portability being introduced. According to Wireless Intelligence, Turkcell had 26.3 million Turkish mobile connections by third-quarter 2008, followed by Vodafone (17.4 million) and Avea (12.1 million).