EBRD helps Türk Telekom roll out advanced technology

By Olga Rosca

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Mobile broadband has seen a boom in Turkey, however its penetration remains low compared to Western countries and presents an excellent opportunity for growth.

Investment helps bring fast mobile internet to Turkey’s eastern regions

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting Turkey’s leading telecoms company Türk Telekom with a US$ 100 million financing package as it prepares to roll out high-speed advanced 4.5G mobile services.

Türk Telekom has recently been awarded a 4.5G spectrum license and the EBRD’s loan will finance capital expenditures for mobile broadband network expansion. More than a quarter of the funds will be used to bring the technology to the eastern regions of Turkey, covering Adana, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Kayseri, Samsun and Trabzon.

While mobile broadband has seen a boom, penetration remains low compared to more advanced economies and presents an excellent opportunity for growth.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, Director, Head of EBRD Operations in Turkey, said: “Turkey’s growing economy needs greater connectivity. Our financing of Türk Telekom will support the development of higher-speed and higher-quality mobile internet, including in the more remote regions of Turkey, boosting local economies and the country’s telecom sector as a whole.”

Salih Fatih Güneş, Türk Telekom Treasury Director, said: “The EBRD continues to be one of our key financing partners for capital expenditures. We are glad to have EBRD support for our investment in the 4.5G mobile broadband network expansion.

Investing in higher-quality internet connectivity is part of the EBRD’s efforts to foster innovation in the Turkish economy. The EBRD has previously supported the expansion of fixed broadband internet services in the eastern regions of Turkey with a €100 million loan to Türk Telekom in 2012.

The Bank started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep.

To date, it has invested over €7 billion in the country through more than 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised about €16 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.

In 2015, Turkey was the top destination for EBRD financing, with €1.9 billion invested that year alone.

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