1/5/2009

Telecom investments amid crisis to keep Turkey’s IT sector competitive

Today’s Zaman - Telecommunication investments in the new year, while slightly on decline, will keep Turkey's one of key sectors competitive in the global arena. The information technology sector, which was expected to grow by 10.8 percent in 2008 over 2007, managed to grow by nine percent despite the global economic turmoil. This fact encouraged companies in the sector to set a growth target of ten percent in 2009, keeping their hopes alive. The launch of number portability and the 3G tender took place successfully and a new tender for fixed line licenses is on the way. These developments alone are enough to create competition in the telecommunications sector. It is not too hard to predict that there will be cutthroat competition leading to a revival in the information technology sector with the introduction of new, diversified communication devices to the markets. It is expected that new investments in the telecommunications sector will help the information technology sector stand on its own feet in 2009 amid the crisis, offering a sanctuary against the destructive waves of the storm. New communication companies are also expected to emerge in the market. The representatives of the information technology sector in Turkey, first of all, expect the government to introduce initiatives such as reduced taxes. Tugrul Tekbulut, President of the Turkish Informatics Industry Association (TUBISAD), said the 3G tender will help trigger investments in Turkey's telecommunications sector in 2009. He noted that employment in the sector will also increase in 2009. "Unlike many companies that dismiss employees, communication companies will strengthen their workforce in 2009" he said. Turkcell, Turkey's leading mobile carrier, opened two call centers in the southeastern and eastern Anatolia - one in Diyarbakir and the other in Erzurum - and they expect to hire more than 1,000 people in Diyarbakir before the end of 2009. Turk Telekom also recently hired 4,000 people, and the company expects to add another 1,000 members to their team.