Advanced fourth-generation (4G) telecom services – dubbed 4.5G in Turkey – have become operational in the country as of Friday, early hours.
The technology was introduced during an official presentation on Friday in Istanbul with the participation of Communication Ministry officials and the head of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) as well as Turkey’s three mobile operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom.
Head of BTK Omer Fatih Sayan told reporters that Turkey now boasted the world’s highest broadband Internet speed in mobile technology.
“4.5G is 10 times faster than third-generation (3G) technology,” Sayan said.
According to BTK, 4.5G technology will offer consumers the ability to use new technologies and will provide faster browsing, downloads, and uploads.
The total amount of spectrum available will be increased by three times. The rights to the frequencies will last until April 30, 2029.
Last year in April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey should skip 4G Internet technology and move directly to 5G instead.
“We would waste time with 4G technology and should move to 5G in two years, or else Turkey becomes a garbage dump for 4G technology,” Erdogan had said.
After Erdogan’s announcement, three mobile operators, Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom, won the rights to the country’s most advanced 4.5G network after paying more than €3.9 billion ($4.5 billion) in a tender held by BTK last August.
According to Sayan, 4.5G is faster and better for user experience and more efficient, with regards to spectrum use, than 4G. He added 4.5G would serve as a bridge to fifth-generation (5G) technology, which is expected to be the next major step in mobile telecommunications.
According to ministry figures released in 2015, the number of 3G subscribers has reached 61.1 million in Turkey.
The figures show that the number of cell phone subscribers reached 72 million while the number of broadband Internet subscribers had increased to reach over 44 million in the second quarter of 2015 from just six million in 2008.
Turkey’s population was 77.7 million in 2014, according to the country’s statistics authority.