Türk Telekom and the 5.5G industry: the journey highlights so far 


At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona, we caught up with Ahmet Fethi Ayhan, Türk Telekom, Network Director, and Barry Hou, Huawei’s President of 5G Wireless Marketing & Solution Sales to discuss Türk Telekom’s winning position in Umlaut’s 2023 Crowdsourcing, their network strategy in the 5G era and how partnership has helped the company achieve 5G success. 

The discussion began by highlighting that Türk Telekom achieved number one in Istanbul in Umlaut Crowdsourcing in 2023. But how did they achieve this?  

“With 26.1 million mobile subscribers. It’s always the primary responsibility of Türk Telekom to provide good network experience for the subscribers,” said Ayhan. 

“In recent years, Türk Telekom has been committed to wireless network investments and constructions… We continue to build LTE low band sites, improve LTE wide coverage and deep coverage, and develop VoLTE services.  

We work with Huawei network optimisation team to analyse and gain insights, and implement hierarchical capacity expansion policies for key cities and areas. According to Umlaut Test results, I think Huawei’s 4T4R equipment is a very important reason in these key cities. It not only improves the network capacity and user experience, but also saves energy consumption.” 

Discussing Türk Telekom’s target network strategy in the 5G era, the company noted that spectrum is the most important resource for wireless networks. “The target network in the 5G era is the spectrum evolution strategy for Türk Telekom,” said Ayhan. Optimising the spectrum is also essential. 

“In the 5G era, energy efficiency is vital. We cannot sacrifice network performance for energy saving. We have to consider more intelligence solutions to achieve both best in the performance and energy saving. Huawei’s new equipment, MetaAAU, ultra-wideband RRU and green antenna, will not only bring energy saving benefits, but also further simplify sites,” he said. 

Barry Hou explains how Huawei can help operators be successful in the 5G era in two ways. “Firstly, as a global leading telecom provider, we can provide that help to our operators to build the most efficient 5G network. This is thanks to our high-intensity R&D investment of more than 10% of our annual revenue, invested to our 5G solution and equipment.” 

Secondly, he continued, “Huawei could facilitate operator on the 5G monetisation.” 5G monetisation can be categorised into three phases: the first (phase) is traffic monetisation, helping operators to migrate 4G users to 5G network very quickly. Secondly, 5G FWA, which is a common choice for over half of operators as it helps operators to increase both application and home penetration. Thirdly, 5G to businesses, which is now hugely popular in China. Huawei can bring the system integrator, the experience and 5GtoB solutions from China to overseas. As a result, Huawei can help Türk Telekom to develop their 5GtoB business. 

Türk Telekom had a successful experience in 4.5G. Should they copy this with 5.5G? In short, yes. “I think we will directly launch 5.5G by referring to the successful experience in the 4G era. Türk Telekom will provide the best 5.5G network experience to end users and cooperate with Huawei to carry out some key toB services and build 5.5G smart city in Türkiye,” Barry Hou concurred. 

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