ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey could cancel a May tender for 4G telecoms infrastructure after President Tayyip Erdogan urged the country not to “lose time” with the technology and move straight to 5G, the trade minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Erdogan last week called for a move to fifth-generation mobile networks, within two years, skipping the current 4G technology, which cast doubt over the ongoing tender process.
Turkish telecommunications are currently based on 3G technology.
“Cancelling the tender is being discussed now. We are evaluating ... It will become clear soon,” Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli said, according to the HaberTurk daily.
“The president’s remarks were meant to be instructions. He is the semi-executive president, and the head of the executive branch. We should pay attention to what he says,” Canikli said.
The Information and Communication Technologies Authority this month set a May 26 deadline for a 4G tender for 20 frequency segments at a minimum value of around 2.3 billion euros ($2.5 billion).
Officials have previously said 4G services would be offered from the start of 2016.
Reporting by Ece Toksabay; editing by Ayla Jean Yackley and Jason Neely