Turkcell completes LTE-A network upgrade ahead of schedule

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Turkcell has completed network upgrade work across 81 cities in Turkey 10 days ahead of launching LTE-Advanced.

The operator will offer peak download speeds of 390MBps in the city of Samsun, with Adana (321MBps), Izmir (347MBps), Istanbul (350MBps), and Erzurum (354MBps) are the next fastest cities.

The long-awaited launch of LTE comes after last year's spectrum auction, which at one point faced the risk of being postponed indefinitely after the country's president said it should jump straight to 5G.

Work began on the network upgrade last year, with the operator working with Ericsson and Huawei.

[Read more: Turkcell bets on LTE-A as it gets ready for long-awaited 4G race]

Turkcell aims to deploy 1800MHz first, because of wide terminal support, followed by bolstering coverage through 800MHz and capacity through 2.6GHz. 

The operator held a press conference yesterday to mark the completion of the upgrade, with five c-suite Turkcell executives holding live broadcasts and network speedtests in different parts of the country.

Kaan Terzioglu, CEO of Turkcell, said: “We have invested heavily in the spectrum auction held on August 26th in order to bring the fastest mobile internet to our customers all over Turkey. With the 1,220,000 hours of work that our network teams have clocked in through hard conditions, today we are able to announce that Turkcell network is ready for 4.5G in 81 cities 10 days ahead of schedule. We are proud to have demonstrated our technological leadership by rolling out 4.5G over such a wide geographical area – a unique picture not only on a national but also global scale.”