The Telecommunications Authority (the "Authority")
continues to amend sector-specific regulations to further
liberalize the telecommunications market in Turkey and better
respond to the needs of the market players. This article aims
to summarize certain material amendments made to the Regulation
on Authorization of Telecommunications Services and
Infrastructure (the "Authorization Regulation") as
published in the Official Gazette on 17 April 2007.
Based on the amendments, governmental authorities and
capital companies may now apply to the Authority and obtain
permission to establish and utilize temporary
telecommunications infrastructure for testing purposes
Previously, the mobile telecommunications operators were not
allowed to provide telecommunications services other than the
services determined under their existing concession agreements.
Now, operators may participate in tenders regarding new
services and infrastructure to be established for the provision
such services, provided that the new services in question
constitute the continuance and progression of the
telecommunication services provided through the infrastructure
owned under the existing concession agreement. The current
Authorization Regulation explicitly provides that IMT-2000/UMTS
services and infrastructure constitute the continuity and
progression of GSM services and infrastructure. Furthermore, it
is stated that a breach by the operator under one concession
agreement may result in termination of the other concession
agreement by the Authority.
Another significant amendment is that the Authorization
Regulation now explicitly provides that concession agreements
may only be executed after obtaining the opinion of the Council
of State (Danistay) (the highest administrative court in
Turkey). Previously, there was reference to the waiting periods
in the Constitution within which the Council of State must
render its opinion, and it was not clear whether the Authority
would be free to execute the concession agreement should the
Council of State fail to render its opinion within the time
There are also material amendments to permission and
notification requirements for share transfers and change of
control of companies operating under different licenses.
Furthermore, the results of non or partial usage of the
frequencies allocated are now regulated separately with regard
to operators being party to a concession agreement or holding a
1st Type Telecommunications License, and with regard to other
operators under new provisions inserted into the Authorization
Another noteworthy amendment concerns the scope of
activities of companies applying for a 2nd Type
Telecommunications License or a General Permission, according
to which the companies may now explicitly include in their
Articles of Association, the sale of necessary and/or related
equipment regarding the services they provide and provision of
relevant installation, maintenance and repair, and consultancy
services in connection therewith. Accordingly, the debates as
to whether or not these companies were allowed to perform such
equipment sales and carry out the said additional services have
been laid to rest.
Finally, the relevant annexes of the Authorization
Regulation have also been amended to revise the definitions of
service quality, data transmission services over terrestrial
lines, cable platform services and telephone services between
cities, in most instances to further clarify such definitions,
and the scope of services to be provided by cable platform
services providers has been extended.
The content of this article is intended to provide a
general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should
be sought about your specific circumstances.
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