GSMA THRIVE EURASIA: Turkcell CEO Murat Erkan (pictured) urged operators to improve their relationship with consumers using digital services, while detailing the company’s efforts to tailor its 5G offer to locally relevant business cases.

Speaking during the Building the Future session on 5G strategies, Erkan highlighted many operators still relied on “plans, offers and huge marketing events” to engage with their customer-base when in fact digital services provided a much better touchpoint.

He added providers should use these tools to “get to know them and create added value”.

Turkcell has regularly championed the shift to become a digital service provider for consumers at industry events, but on this occasion Erkan also detailed its progress in the enterprise sector ahead of its move to standalone (SA) 5G.

The operator expects to switch on SA 5G across Turkey in 2022 to 2023 and has been assessing specific market requirements with a view to building relevant business cases.

“As a digital operator we are focusing not only on the 5G infrastructure but also on the use case generation. We are trying to understand the requirements in Turkey because we think…the main 5G services will differ from country to country,” he added. “In our use case focus we have tried to build an ecosystem consistent with the industries [in the country], universities and our R&D team”.

“So far our main focus has been on drones, media and entertainment, health and education. Since 2018 we have been building new business cases and we aim to be ready for national launch of standalone 5G in [the] 2022-23 timeframe.”