Turk Telekom Senior Manager Onal stated that the first mobile infrastructure in Turkey was established by Turk Telekom in 1994 and said, “The biggest leap in the sector will be experienced with 5G. We are determined to make Turkey a pioneer in this journey.”
In Turkey, 27 years have passed since the first mobile phone call on February 23, 1994, when Tansu Ciller, the then Prime Minister, called the then-President Suleyman Demirel. Over the years, both the world and the telecommunications sector in Turkey have witnessed great changes.
Turk Telekom Senior Manager (CEO) Umit Onal reminded that the history of mobile communication dates back to the first quarter of the 19th century, but it took the 1990s to turn this into a worldwide technology.
Expressing that the world first met the GSM technology, which eliminates the borders in communication, in 1991, Onal said:
“In Turkey, the first mobile infrastructure was established by Turk Telekom in 1994. From the day mobile networks started providing services, studies on smartphones had also started. The first smartphone was Simon, introduced by IBM in 1993, which partially incorporates phone, minicomputer, pager, and fax machine features. Later, many different brands and models took place in the market. These were mostly for the business world and considered too luxurious for daily use. With the internet access of mobile phones in the early 2000s, the era of smartphones in today’s sense also started.
As a result of the need for faster data, 3G technology, which not only transmits voice, data, and images but also enables video conversation, has been implemented. In 2007, Apple made many innovations that will radically change the standards of smartphones in terms of software and hardware with the iPhone. Then, 4G and later 4.5G-LTE technology, which significantly increased the internet speed of mobile devices compared to 3G, was introduced. Today we are on the eve of 5G technology where smart devices will communicate with each other. “
“Smart mobile device technology has also led to the emergence of countless initiatives.”
Umit Onal said that the biggest breaking point was the access of mobile devices to the internet and that prior to this technology, mobile phones were acceptable in terms of size, only for talking, sending, and receiving text messages.
Expressing that this concept started to change gradually with the activation of WAP access, a web-like language on mobile phones, Onal made the following evaluations:
“This development has radically changed almost all our habits, from business life to the flow of commerce and our daily life, while introducing the Internet to our mobile phones. With the development of 3G, which enables fast data transfer, this technology has allowed new manufacturers and brands to enter the sector. Mobile phone models with large screens, high memory, cameras, and finally touch screens appeared. Launched in 2007, the iPhone brought the concept of “innovation” to the world mobile phone market, while shaking the stones in the industry.
With the availability and widespread availability of smart mobile phones, mobile phones have become used to meet many personal needs. Smart mobile device technology has also led to the emergence of countless initiatives in this field. Digital services and mobile applications, which make our lives easier with their innovative solutions, continue to develop and proliferate since the day they were first launched, and continue to offer us brand new experiences.”
Onal noted that with the impact of digital services, mobile data usage per person in the world and in Turkey continues to rise rapidly.
“As Turk Telekom, we are already ready for 5G”
Turk Telekom CEO Onal stated that they have brought together the latest communication technologies of the age to Turkey by breaking many firsts throughout their 180-year history and that they have led a field such as technology that carries the world to the future and he explained that they have a mission to “make everyone who lives in these lands feel valued”, and with the awareness of this, they work with the understanding of “service to everyone, not the center” in order to ensure uninterrupted communication under all conditions.
Referring to Turk Telekom’s mobile journey, Onal said that they have reached today by increasing their mobile investments steadily and gradually throughout the whole process. He continued as follows:
“With the experience we have gained from our deep-rooted history and our investments in high technology, we are today leading the digital transformation of Turkey. In doing so, we focus on the people. Because we believe that technology should benefit people. Our priority issues in the recent period are the construction of the infrastructure required by 5G and the next-generation technologies. With our fiber infrastructure, which we have increased 10 times in the last 10 years, we fiberize Turkey and make it ready for 5G. We continue our 5G investments and 5G network tests. We have already connected about 50% of our existing LTE base stations to fiber. Considering that the transition to 5G will be gradual and the priority areas to be served are already covered by fiber network, we are already ready for 5G as Turk Telekom, and we are determined to make Turkey a pioneer in this journey.”
“5G promises the production and processing of data that is millions of times larger than today”
Umit Onal gave information about the changing and developing technologies. The first mobile phones that started to appear in the world in the 1980s were too big, bulky, and analog devices to be called “mobile phones”, and in the 1990s, with the adoption of the GSM protocol first in Europe and then all over the world, the first world standard was achieved in the mobile network. He said that this technology, which used to be expensive both as a device and as a service, has ceased to be a luxury with the widespread use of base stations, the development of reception areas, and the decrease in product and line costs, and has started to enter everyone’s pocket.
Reminding that only voice can be transported in 1G, which is the first of mobile network technologies, Onal said that 2G, which can be considered as the basis of today’s GSM system, is a system based on digital communication that enables the transmission of text messages called SMS.
Onal said, “We had a video call experience with the speed provided by 3G. 4G / 4.5G enabled high-speed mobile data transfer that allows HD quality conversation and voice. 5G and its accompanying new technologies promise to reduce the delay in communication, to connect more devices, to produce and process millions of times larger data than today, thanks to the higher speed.”
“eSIM technology seems to add mobility to mobile technologies”
Turk Telekom CEO Onal emphasized that the introduction of 3G smartphones and the transition to 4.5G, which significantly increases mobile data speed, are important turning points in the sector, and said, “However, when we consider the benefits and opportunities it will provide to sectors, especially industry, production and health, the biggest leap will be experienced with 5G.”
Stating that the expectations from 5G are high, Onal said that 5G means “speed” above all. Stating that this acceleration in communication will open doors to many opportunities that will make life easier, he continued as follows:
“5G will be the pillar of the smart connectivity era, the era of supporting economic growth, transforming businesses, and delivering innovative services. Ultimately it will play a leading role in strengthening socioeconomic transformations by increasing productivity, sustainability, efficiency, and general well-being. An important point that stands out here is that it will not be possible to reach real 5G level speeds without being supported by a land fiber connection.
As Turk Telekom, we have digitized Turkey with our investments in fiber infrastructure and our base stations that we connect with fiber since 1994, and we have also significantly improved the mobile infrastructure. Especially in the recent period, one of the important benefits of mobile technologies has been digital services that make our lives easier in many areas from shopping to payment services, from entertainment to health. In addition, eSIM technology, which put an end to the use of physical SIM cards, seems to add movement to mobile technologies.”
“National technologies developed by Turkish engineers are used in strategically important sectors”
Umit Onal stated that Turkey’s progress is at par with the developed countries of the world in terms of developing technology and fulfilling the requirements of the era and that Turkish engineers have developed national technologies using domestic resources in all strategically important sectors from defense to health, from education to communication.
Stating that this approach is also valid for communication technologies and the 5G area, Onal said:
“Our country’s dependence on foreign technology is decreasing day by day and Turkey is strengthening its position as a strong player in the world while providing all kinds of services that increase the quality of life of its citizens.
As the founder and developer of digital assets owned by our country, our priority is to make everyone feel valuable in every field we are in, beyond being a technology company. We will continue to exist in every step of the national technology transformation with our know-how and social responsibility awareness in the field of high technology and we will continue to be the driving force for the Turkish economy.”
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz