9 May 2008
The Turkish Telecommunications Board (TK) confirmed yesterday that it is bringing forward the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) from the planned date of the end of November. TK’s Deputy Chairman Galip Zerey said customers will now be able to take their existing mobile phone numbers with them when they switch service supplier from 13 November. Rivals to Turkey’s leading mobile operator Turkcell have been demanding MNP for some time, and the government’s plans to re-offer 3G licences will have provided an added incentive to accelerate the process. Three UMTS concessions were put up for sale last year but they attracted just one bid from Turkcell, leading the government to cancel the sale saying there was insufficient competition for the process to be legal. Telegeography’s GlobalComms database reports Turkcell is the market leader, with 35.4 million customers and a 57.55% share of the sector by end-2007. The second-placed operator, Vodafone (formerly Telsim) claimed 16.2 million customers, while the newest entrant, Avea, had around ten million users.