New Turkish GSM operator discloses partnership structure
The Turkish company, set to operate a mobile phone GSM license at 1,800 MHz, has disclosed its partnership structure. A statement sent to the Istanbul stock exchange (IMKB) by Is Ban gave notice that Is Tim Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri A.S. had been established, as of September 5, with a capital of 355 trillion Turkish liras (TL).
Company partners include Telecom Italia S.p.a., holding a 20 percent stake, TIM International B.V. with 29 percent, Is Bank A.S. with 14 percent, Trakya Yatirim Holding A.S. with 25 percent, Efes Holding A.S. with 6.25 percent, Turkiye Sise ve Cam Fab. A.S. with 5 percent, Anadolu Anonim Turk Sigorta with 0.50 percent and Anadolu Hayat Sigorta A.S. with 0.25 percent.
The Is Bank-Telecom Italia consortium has offered to pay $2.5 billion in licensing fees plus a $431 million value added tax (VAT) to operate the country's third GSM network. The consortium must make a down payment of $500 million and pay the balance of the price within three months of signing the deal.
The government sent a draft contract initialed by the operator to the council of state last month, seeking its opinion in a routine procedure. The high court must announce its opinion in two months' time, whereupon the consortium and the transport ministry will sign the contract.
Two existing GSM 900 operators in Turkey are Turkcell and Telsim. State-owned fixed line monopoly, Turk Telekom, will own a fourth license running at 1,800 MHz.
Meanwhile, Turk Telekom is involved in a row with Turkcell and Telsim over fees the two operators pay on calls placed from fixed lines to mobile phones and vice versa. Turk Telekom General Manager Ibrahim Hakki Alpturk announced that the company was seeking arbitration from the telecommunications board to settle the dispute. Turk Telekom wants to collect half of interconnected call charges instead of the one-fifth it is currently getting.
Interconnection contracts between Turk Telekom and the two existing GSM operators have to be renewed every two years. The government leased the licenses to Turkcell and Telsim back in 1998 at $500 million each for a period of 25 years.
Alpturk complained that Turk Telekom's share in charges of mobile calls to fixed lines was even lower. "We object to this sharing. We want it to be fair. Two-way call charges should either be collected in a pool and shared equally, or each side should collect the charge of its call," he said.
Alpturk argued that such charges amount to TL 38-40 trillion a month, of which Turk Telekom is presently receiving TL 8 trillion. The rest goes to Turkcell and Telsim, he said. "The board should help us secure a deal. Otherwise there would be a crisis which would affect both Turkcell and Telsim subscribers, and I am not taking a single step back from my word," Alpturk said, threatening to obstruct calls between fixed and mobile lines. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)