Vodafone aims to be fastest growing services company by 2025


IT HAS BEEN 15 YEARS since Vodafone entered the Turkish market after purchasing Uzan Group’s indebted Telsim from the Saving Deposits Insurance Fund (TMSF). Since then the global telecom operator’s investments in Turkey have exceeded TRY 25bn, according to Vodafone Turkey’s newly-appointed CEO, Engin Aksoy. Taking the top job at the beginning of February as the company’s seventh CEO, Aksoy said the company invested nearly TRY 2bn in 2020 while its revenues from services reached TRY 13.6 bn. The number of customers they served was 24.6 million, he noted. “Our goal is to become Turkey’s fastest growing digital services company by 2025. We have made our investment plans accordingly.”

In a meeting with a small group of journalists, organized by Aksoy with Hasan Suel, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Turkey, the progress and future goals of the company was on the table. Here are the main highlights:


“In 2020, we gave a good account of ourself operationally and financially. The number of active monthly customers using our digital channels increased by 22% to over 16.3m while our service revenues reached TRY 13.6bn. We continued our investments and invested close to TRY 2bn in total in 2020 despite the difficult conditions. Both the steps we have taken towards digitalization and our financial performance are appreciated and was shown as a model within the group. Vodafone Turkey became the operator with the highest growth in service revenues within the Vodafone Group, according to third quarter figures.”


“We are taking steps towards becoming a digital marketplace and financial and insurance services provider by using the power of digitalization. We switched to a holding structure in order to increase our digitalization performance and support the growth of our new business areas. Vodafone Holding A.S. consists of 10 companies under 4 main verticals. Under our ‘Telecom’ vertical, there are Vodafone Telekom and Vodafone Net. We added Vodafone Tower Services to these two flagships this year. Under the ‘Services’ vertical, we have Vodafone Distribution, Vodafone Data and Vodafone Technology companies. Under the ‘Finance and Insurance’ vertical, we have Vodafone E-Para and Vodafone Insurance companies. The ‘TV and Media’ vertical consists of Vodafone TV and Vodafone Media companies. •ur goal is to further grow these companies by maintaining our focus on digital services.”


“Our goal is to position Turkey as a center for ex- cellence. We will continue to share our successful practices such as Supermarket and T•Bi with other countries. In addition, we decided to switch to a hybrid operating model in the post-pandemic period. With this model, we will create a flexible structure where it is possible to work both remotely and from the office.”


“We aim to be the fastest growing digital services company in Turkay by 2025. We created a growth plan consisting of ‘Connectivity, Vodafone Yanimda and Vodafone Business’ elements in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to improve our infrastructure with the latest technologies and provide our customers with the best digital experience. We will continue our investments to make Vodafone Yanimda a ‘super application’ that is used every day. With our Vodafone Business brand, we plan to grow exponentially for the next five years with our investments in a Data Center, Cloud Solutions, Cyber Security, Customized Mobile Network and IoT.”


“We are preparing to implement an extensive support project for tradesmen and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Digital Marketing Consultancy will be offered free of charge to all tradesmen and SMEs who want to benefit from our support package. We believe that SMEs will regain the customers and income potential they lost during pandemic with digital marketing tools that we can provide.”


“To be able to realize the social transformation that we dream of, fiber infrastructure should become widespread,” said Vodafone Turkey CEO Engin Aksoy. “This is also vital for the transition to 5G. A 10% increase in fiber infrastructure triggers a one percent increase in gross domestic product. Even if the fiber length growth rate in the country is 50%, we calculate that this investment-driven GDP growth will be USD 44bn in 2023. As an industry, we must ensure fiber deployment as soon as possible. We think fiber household coverage should increase to over 20 million households. Today, an investment of USD 5bn is required to cover an additional 15 million households. At this point, it is important to regulate access to existing fiber infrastructure and to realize new investments through common infrastructure. Thus, we can achieve cost savings that enable larger investments.”


Vodafone Turkey CEO Engin Aksoy noted that 99% of their total investment will be technology oriented. “We have an important place in our country’s technology map. We continue to be the operator with the widest coverage in 4.5G with more than 23,400 4.5G communication points in 81 provinces. We provide 4.5G service in almost all of our base stations,” he said. “We keep developing our infrastructure with new generation technologies. We are the first and most widespread operator to use Smart SON smart grid technology based on Artificial Intelligence in its network. With over 250 domestic ULAK base stations, we are the operator with the highest number of live ULAK base stations in operation in our country. Our group has commissioned 5G networks in more than 10 European countries. We are preparing to bring the global experience in 5G to Turkey and provide the best digital experience to our customers.”


Vodafone Turkey CEO Engin Aksoy explained their work on preparing companies for new generation technology: “We keep working as a technology partner for our 1.2 million corporate customers with our end-to-end solutions, including Internet of Things,

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and cloud technologies. We increased Turkey’s digital score from 53 to 71 in the last three years with a campaign named ‘Digital Transformation Movement’, which we started in cooperation with The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). We create solutions for our corporate customers by using new generation technologies at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Vodafone Future Lab, with our 30 business partners, almost all of which are local. The business volume we created for the ecosystem with solutions such as Red Kontrol, Cloud Switchboard and Cyber Security Operations Center that we developed with our local solution partners has reached approximately TRY 100m. We are currently working with 700 active suppliers and dealers.”

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