Turk Telekom plans for regional hub

Turk Telekom plans for regional hub

Turk Telekom has acquired complete ownership of the telecoms operator Invitel International for €221 million.


Gregg Betz, CEO, Invitel International

The purchase gives Turk Telekom ownership of Invitel International’s 27,000km fibre-optic network covering 16 countries across central and eastern Europe.

The acquisition would appear to benefit the strategic development plans of both companies. Invitel International has been gradually building a presence in Turkey, providing customer services to Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Gregg Betz, CEO of Invitel International said: “The transaction will allow us to leverage the assets and experience of both companies and provide connectivity to a wider geographic area across central and eastern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, the Caucasus and beyond.”

Turk Telekom will benefit from Invitel International’s network and the acquisition reflects its desire to form a regional hub. Over the last three years, it has strengthened its infrastructure and technology in Turkey by acquiring an array of national telecoms businesses, including hardware and software companies, a call centre, an internet service provider and a mobile company. However, Invitel is Turk Telekom’s first international acquisition. Mehmet C Toros, senior vice president of Turk Telekom and now a member of the managing board of Invitel International, said: “With our existing terrestrial routes and the acquisition of Invitel International, we are expanding our abilities and capabilities from Europe to the Middle East and beyond. Turkey and Turk Telekom will become a hub for teleco business and for the carriers in the region.”

Turk Telekom earlier this year also confirmed its participation in the JADI Link project, a collaboration with other incumbent operators in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria to build a fibre-optic network connecting Jeddah, Amman, Damascus and Istanbul. According to Toros: “Our major aim is to empower Invitel International and Turk Telekom networks in the region.”

Kerem Arsal, analyst, EMEA at Pyramid Research, said: “A backbone of an extensive fibre network like the one Invitel holds is important for constant revenue generation and for preventing competition by capturing those bottlenecks. Oger Group [which owns Turk Telekom] will be carrying a lot of traffic in a way that uses Turkey as a bridge, which makes great sense as Middle East data demand has exploded and Oger Group is well-positioned to serve that


Invitel International will maintain its head office in Hungary and will be rebranding as PanTel. “We’re excited about returning to the original name,” said Betz.