Research and Markets: Turkey Telecommunications Report Q1 2013
<0> Research and Markets: Turkey Telecommunications Report Q1 2013 </0>
<0> Research and MarketsLaura Wood, Senior Manager.U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716Sector: </0>
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Turkey's telecommunications markets contains significant growth potential, with a low penetration rates and high growth in both the mobile and broadband markets. Although the market continues to be held back by high taxation, the wireless data market in particular is a regional outperformer and, with ongoing operator investment, we believe it will remain among the most dynamic in the region. However, there is still risk of a macroeconomic slowdown with Turkey exposed to external risk factors, which would have a negative impact on the sector's developmental trajectory.
The mobile broadband market has maintained its position as one of the fastest growing in Europe with net additions of 280,071 in the 12 months to Q212.
However, fixed broadband subscriptions declined q-o-q to Q212, with a net loss of 10,000 subscriptions. BMI believes competition from mobile broadband services explains this performance.
The fixed-line sector experienced weaker-than-expected growth in Q212, according to data from ICTA, with a y-o-y decline of 8.1%.
Turkish mobile operators have been increasing the range of their VAS offers in recent quarters, moving into areas such as M2M and content and most recently launching a new mobile money product. In October 2012 Turkcell launched a mobile wallet (m-wallet) service that does not restrict the product to only smartphone users or prevent users from transferring funds to subscribers on different networks.
However, the service is only available to customers using Turkcell SIMs and subscribers on other networks cannot use the service on their networks. This lays down a gauntlet to rivals Vodafone and Avea, if Turkcell's service proves popular.
The established operators may also face an increasing threat of competition from MVNOs in the coming quarters. In September 2012 Virgin Group confirmed it was holding preliminary discussions with potential MVNO hosts in Turkey. Expansion into Turkey follows the creation of Virgin Mobile Central and Eastern Europe to target opportunities in the region. While Virgin Mobile is reportedly in talks to launch services as an MVNO on Turkcell's network, the head of the telecoms regulator ICTA said Virgin Mobile is yet to file an application to launch as an MVNO.
BMI believes the Turkish market represents a significant opportunity for MVNOs, based on its low penetration rate and high ARPU levels, and as such we believe Virgin will push to enter the market, and be willing to work around problems it may face in terms of taxation. However, its entry is not certain. The arrival of Virgin would intensify competition for subscriptions, pushing down ARPU, and likely catalyse the launch of other MVNOs.
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