Turkey should skip 4G internet technology and move directly to 5G in two years, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has said, but sector representatives have concerns about realizing this target, as the 5G technologies have been in the development stage and it might take some four years for the world to get 5G online.
“It is not necessary to waste time with the 4G technologies. We need to move to the 5G technologies instead in two years” Erdoğan said at the 175th anniversary ceremony of Türk Telekom in Ankara late April 21. “The world is talking about 5G technologies right now. We are still at 3G” he said.
“We would waste time with 4G technologies and should move to 5G in two years, or else Turkey becomes a garbage dump for 4G technology” he added.
The earliest online use of 5G technologies is expected at the end of 2018, and in a very limited area, according to sector representatives.
The existing 5G tests have been conducted in laboratory conditions and there has been no established infrastructure for the use of these technologies right now, sources told Hürriyet Daily News, adding that even the standards for the 5G technologies aren’t planned to be set for the first time until 2016 and 2017. These activities will be followed by several tests, sources said.
“The first common use of the 5G technologies is expected to be available in a limited number of countries even after 2020, following the required tests” sources added.
Samsung had earlier announced it would use the 5G technologies in the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea in 2018 in a very limited area. After a series of detailed research and testing activities, Samsung plans to bring these technologies online for common use at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
While Erdoğan has called for a move to 5G, Turkey has been preparing for a 4G license tender. The deadline for bids in Turkey’s 4G license tender has been set for May 26, the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) said in a statement on April 10.
In the tender, 20 separate frequency segments will be sold at a minimum value of around 2.3 billion euros ($2.45 billion).
Companies interested in bidding on the tender are now in the preparation stage.
“These companies will be closely following what the BTK says about the tender after President Erdoğan’s 5G announcements” said another sector representative.
Meanwhile, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in its latest electoral declaration, aimed to enable the forthcoming 4G technologies to spread across the country and to encourage domestic production of 4G equipment.