Turkcell ramps up investment as 5G rollout approaches

Turkcell ramps up investment as 5G rollout approaches

Turkcell, the largest mobile operator in Turkey, has said it aims to ramp up investment this year as it plans for a new data centre and infrastructure for 5G services.

The money involved may come from issuing eurobonds or sukuk (a Sharia-compliant bond) in international markets.

CEO Ali Taha Koç has been quoted as saying that the company has planned that an amount equal to about 23% of its revenue this year will be targeted at the investments, mainly in a data centre, a 300-megawatt (MW) solar power plant (for completion by 2026), and 5G network preparation.

According to the Daily Sabah news service, the CEO has suggested that 5G in particular will require expenditure on infrastructure and notably on fibre optic cables to base stations so that they can handle higher capacities.

Regulatory approvals will be needed before the company can issue bonds, though there is no timeline for the process.

Koç also said the company will look at the level of foreign investor interest in the planned initial public offerings (IPOs) of its fixed-line internet provider Superonline, network tower operator Global Tower, or payment services company Paycell. However, it does not seem that Turkcell feels the time is right to go ahead with the IPOs just yet.

Koç also mentioned that the sale of Turkcell subsidiary Lifecell in Ukraine is still ongoing. Turkcell operates Ukraine's third-largest mobile network. It had reached an agreement at the end of last year to sell its Ukrainian assets to NJJ Capital, stating their value at US$525 million.

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