Turkcell spends heavily in long awaited 4G auction

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Turkcell was the big spender in Turkey's 4G auction, buying 172MHz of bandwidth at a cost of €1.62 billion.

The long awaited auction, which could have been postposed indefinitely after the country's president said he wanted Turkey to jump straight to 5G, reportedly raised 1.5 times expectations for the public coffers.

The Turkish regulator had dubbed it an auction for 4.5G, with spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz bands up for grabs.

Turkcell bought the widest range of spectrum, paying €372.9 million for 20MHz of paired 800MHz, €39.9 million for 2.8MHz of paired 900MHz, €430 million for 59.6MHz of paired 1800MHz, a total of €383.7 million for two 10MHZ chunks of paired 2.1GHz spectrum and one 10MHz band of unpaired, as well as €396.9 million for one 50MHz chunk of paired 2.6GHz and 10MHz unpaired.

Turkcell revealed it will use the spectrum to launch LTE-A by April 2016. It is also working on 5G research with a military electronics company.

CEO Kaan Terzioglu said: "With these results, Turkcell customers will be able to match the existing fibre broadband speed experience while using mobile internet and services. Turkcell will be the only operator which can provide mobile internet experience at up to 375MBps and we are excited to be able to offer this privilege to our customers. Our efforts to transform our country into a producer of technology will now continue with 4.5G and domestic 5G."

[Read more: CTO interview with Turkcell's Ilker Kuruoz]

Meanwhile, Vodafone paid €778 million to secure 82.8MHz of spectrum. It bought rights to 2x10MHz in the 800MHz band, 2x1.4MHz in the 900MHz, 2x10MHz in the 1800MHz, and 2x15MHz and 1x10MHz in the 2.6GHz band.

The operator said it would use the acquired spectrum to increase the speed, coverage and capacity of its mobile broadband services.

Finally, Turk Telecom spent €955 million to secure a range of different frequencies.

The licences will be valid until April 2029.