If most people will access the Internet over mobile platforms, those in our countries must actually start using mobile broadband. Turkey seems to have some lessons.
Turkey has been one of the main mobile broadband growth engines in the region and all three operators in the country benefitted from significant data revenue growth in the year to Q1 2013. Turkcell has been particularly active in marketing data services, with its own-branded range of low-priced smartphones (the “T” series) contributing to a smartphone penetration of 22% at the end of Q1 – some 6.9 million devices. The operator has recently introduced a Turkcell-branded tablet, and is also offering innovative speed-based and shared data plans to further boost data consumption. Subsequently, Turkcell’s data revenue was up some 65% year-on-year to reach $778 million in FY2012-13.
Rival Avea (Turk Telecom) is pursuing a similar strategy. On its Q1 2013 Investor Call the operator’s Chief Marketing Officer Dehsan Erturk stated that “…mobile data revenue is the backbone of our revenue growth. Data revenue now constitutes 14% of total service revenues with a (traffic) growth of 55% on year-over-year basis thanks to smartphone campaigns and unique internet packages, addressing different customer segment user, various device types and data bundles.” The operator ran 40 separate smartphone marketing campaigns during 2012, and had 12 smartphones in its portfolio that were exclusive to Avea, including its own-branded Android handset, the ‘inTouch’. As a result Avea has the highest level of smartphone penetration in the country with 27% in Q1 2013. On the back of this, data revenue increased by some 79% annually to hit $348 million in FY2012-13.