Turkcell signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China-based Huawei on research into 5G technology, just weeks after the Turkish operator signed a similar agreement with Ericsson.
The operator signed a memorandum of understanding on 5G with Huawei during an official visit to Beijing by Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey.
Earlier in July, Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioglu and Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg also signed an MoU on 5G collaboration, noting that the two companies planned to develop a joint understanding of 5G use cases, requirements and deployment scenarios.
According to Terzioglu, this collaboration "will enable us to address the needs and expectations of consumers and corporate customers from various industries."
5G has been a hot topic in Turkey since April, when Erdoğan was quoted as suggesting that the country's three mobile operators should leapfrog 4G and instead move straight from 3G to 5G to avoid, as he put it, losing time with LTE services.
Since then, Turkey has delayed its tender for 4G spectrum by three months to Aug. 26, although the country is already very late in rolling out 4G services.
According to BGN News, the bid specification has also now been altered to require competing companies to use LTE Advanced services in order to "allow a smooth upgrade to 5G with no additional approvals required from regulators".
Vodafone Turkey has also highlighted the work that Vodafone Group is carrying out globally on 5G and noted that it would work with Huawei on 5G technology in Turkey.
Turkcell, Vodafone Turkey and Avea currently sell 3G mobile services to Turkish mobile subscribers. Before the 4G auction was postponed from May 26 to Aug. 26, they had been expected to start offering 4G services before the end of 2015.
Turkcell and Vodafone Turkey have also spent some time preparing the ground for 4G by highlighting the benefits that such services will bring--even before they had a clear idea of when they would be in a position to offer the services on a commercial basis.
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