As Trk Telekom, our other target for 2008 was not only to produce technology but also to export it through our ICT companies. International expansion of our group companies made important contributions to place Turkish technology in international markets. Argela, operating also in the USA market, provides IPTV infrastructure to this market together with American SeaChange Company, and are now also active in India, and have new contracts in Albania, South Africa and others. On the other hand IVEA constitution established in Dubai by Argela and Trk Telekom’s another subsidiary Innova increases the efficiency of our group in this region. Innova have also been successful in Albania, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia.
Another step towards increasing Trk Telekom’s international efficiency has been bidding for some telecom tenders like Kirghiz Telecom and Cosmofon in 2008.
Also this year we started a promotion for internet service providers (ISP) to enlarge the internet market by increasing competition in Turkey. With this promotion we aimed to increase the revenues of ISPs by 20-25% in order to make them increase their profit margin. This promotion started by Trk Telekom in order to enlarge the internet market enables the widespread usage of ADSL service country-wide and brings out Trk Telekom’s positive discrimination towards operators other than TTNET. In order to grow the market and support competition, Trk Telekom will continue making positive discrimination for smaller operators in 2009.
As Trk Telekom, another subject that we emphasized in 2008 was to expand our customer-focused approach to all areas from product to customers’ activity range. In order to improve the customer care, “AssisTT” was founded as another Trk Telekom subsidiary to serve as customer relations and Call Center Company. Besides its call center services AssisTT develops data for its customers’ sales and marketing activities and thus provides more services than the traditional call center functions. Under this approach, we restructured the 1500 TT dealers last year. In addition, the outlook of all our offices and service processes are renewed with the “Office Uplift Program”. With modern designs and personnel with customer-focused service perspective Trk Telekom aims to get high customer satisfaction.
In terms of our customer-focused approach, we also restructured our employment policies. The structuring process we started in 2007 by recruiting 1100 people, 700 of which were engineers, continued in 2008 with recruitment of 2100 engineers and technicians.
With the help of our customer-focused approach and group synergy that we obtained as a result of these structuring processes in scope of this approach, we defined our strategy for 2009 as the beginning of various forms of convergence; and our motto for 2009 is “Future of convergence is now”.
We took the first steps of this strategy in 2008 towards developing and getting much bigger in IT technology. With our investments on rural transformation and new generation networks, we aim to ensure access to the latest technological products from all over Turkey. Within the scope of our FTTx project, we’re transforming the copper based communication infrastructure of Turkey to fiber. With our Rural Transformation Project, we’re renewing the switches in rural areas according to the next generation network architecture. We increased the international outgoing broadband speed to 248 Gbps by the end of 2008, which was 33.6 Gbps in 2005. In July 1st, we started presenting the next generation fast internet VDSL2 service to ISPs. With VDSL2 service that provides 8 times faster internet speed via the existent phone lines, Turkey has become one of the few countries that VDSL2 technology has been introduced. As a result of all these efforts the number of ADSL subscribers in Turkey is now over 5.8 million. TTNet offers value added services to its customers in addition to internet access. Music portal, video portal and games are among these services which will increase more in 2009. TTNet subscribers can have an access to internet at any location with Wi-Fi coverage. The number of Wi-Fi areas which is currently around 3,000 is planned to exceed 6,000 by the end of 2009.
All these results are the examples of TT’s target of getting closer to its customers. While increasing the range of our products we’re taking all the necessary steps in order to decrease the cost of the voice and broadband services to our customers. We’re offering campaigns to effectively promote and encourage the use of our convergence solutions which aim to make our customers’ lives easier.
In 2009 we’ll continue offering new products and services to the market and developing social responsibility projects contributing to the society.