The Turkish operator said it is in talks with nearly 30 companies from all over the world to discuss ways to create digital economies

MUNICH, GERMANY–Turkish mobile operator Turkcell is currently having talks with about 30 different operators with the main aim of sharing the company’s digital services know-how and technology, the carrier’s CEO Kaan Terzioglu said in a keynote presentation at the Huawei Operational Transformation Forum 2018, taking place this week in Munich.

Terzioglu said that talks with companies from all regions are being channelled through Turkcell’s Lifecell Ventures unit.

“We are discussing how we can create digital economies in every one of these single countries, and make them also successful,” the executive said.

Terzioglu said that it is looking at Lifecell Ventures to work with companies, mainly in emerging markets, “who may not have 1,000 R&D engineers or be at the right time to make those investments”.

He also highlighted that the telco’s digital transformation journey has allowed it to increase revenues by 52% over the last two years.

“Being a digital operator has been the recipe for success for us,” Terzioglu said.

At the beginning of the process to launch the digital transformation project, Turkcell decided to “repurpose 1,000 R&D people that we had, from playing with the hardware, to focusing on digital services: digital services that our customers actually love to consume.

“We thought, how do we stop being a company – actually an industry – complaining about demand growth, and really turn that demand growth – data consumption – into something useful,” the executive said.

Terzioglu said some key areas in the digital transformation process include traffic management, to enable access to the digital advertising market; credentials management; mobile payments; and data-related tasks such as data center provision, analytics and security.

“These four areas will define everything we will be doing over the next decades. I think that if you are not a player in the traffic management area, you will not have the opportunity to monetize a digital advertising,” he said.

“Of course, we need to be partnering with all sorts of player in the marketplace to create digital content, from travel services to games, entertainment services, education and healthcare. And as we do this, you will see new business models evolving, like our e-commerce platform, where we go to the merchants and invite them to our data centers [and]provide them secure, scalable platforms. We provide their website credentials management platform, so their customers do not connect their services with Facebook Connect.”

Over the last three years, Turkcell has invested in building its own digital apps and services, reaching 110 downloads, 3 million of which are from outside of Turkey. The carrier’s current portfolio covers a communications platform dubbed BiP, music platform fizy, TV platform TV+, local search engine Yaani, secure login service Fast Login and digital payments company Paycell.

The executive said that Turkcell is investing in Turkey’s data infrastructure with data centers which host local, regional and global players. “We contribute to the digital integration of various vertical industries from health to transportation,” he said.

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