Virgin and Turkcell in talks for MVNO deal

13 September 2012 |


Virgin Mobile is reportedly in talks with Turkey’s largest mobile operator Turkcell to establish an MVNO in the country.

A source told Reuters that Virgin has been looking to launch an MVNO in Turkey and had reached a certain level in talks with Turkcell.

The Tukish market is considered attractive for the group, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, due to its growing population, which stands at approximately 75 million, and below average mobile penetration rate, which stood at 89.3% in June, according to TeleGeography.

Virgin Group’s director of financial communications, Nick Fox, confirmed the company’s interest in the market to the newswire: “We continue to look at new opportunities across central and eastern Europe and the Middle East. Turkey is one of those markets we are analysing and we are having some preliminary discussions with various parties," he said. "We feel Turkey would be a great Virgin Mobile market."

One issue that may hold back Virgin’s plans is Turkey’s 15% double sales tax from both mobile networks and their MVNO partners.

Fox admitted to Reuters that this continued to be an issue but that that company was looking at ways to make Turkey work as a market.

Turkcell dominates Turkey’s mobile market with 52.5% subscriber share in June 2012, according to TeleGeography.

Virgin’s other options for a partnership would be second ranked Vodafone Turkey with 27.8% subscriber market share and Avea with 19.7% share.

The country’s wireless subscriber base has grown by 3.5% over the past 12 months, reaching just over 66 million in June 2012.