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Turkcell Turkey: Building the future

Creating a future-proof, technology agnostic network to serve every user across Turkcell’s spectrum.

Turkcell and Ericsson - Building the future

Worlds first Full Mixed Mode Baseband from Ericsson puts Turkcell one step ahead of the competition

The evolution of a network

To remain the market leader, Turkcell relies on a network that provides the best service quality to users across the entire radio spectrum. The Turkcell network already incorporates GSM and WCDMA/HSPA and was recently upgraded to include LTE after the Turkish communications authority opened a new radio spectrum intended for LTE connectivity.

Turkcell’s challenges

  • Supporting a diverse range of 2G, 3G and 4G ready users
  • Making room for future growth of 4G and 5G users
  • Rolling out a new network solution without interruptions for end-users
  • Retaining their technology leadership in Turkey

All standards on one board

Turkcell and Ericsson had already started a continuous deployment project in 2015, focusing on rolling out Ericsson’s Baseband 5216 unit with GSM and WCDMA in a mixed mode setup. This was done to provide for an increase in required hardware capacity. After the robustness of GSM and WCDMA in mixed mode was proven with widespread success in the trials, Ericsson introduced Turkcell to the concept of full mixed mode functionality.

A world-first technological solution, the Ericsson full mixed mode Baseband, applied to Turkcell’s network meant that Turkcell were able to run GSM, WCDMA and even LTE concurrently, on one baseband board.

Turkcell therefore pushed forward with the LTE rollout, contracting Ericsson to software upgrade the Baseband 5216 boards to support all three standards.

This full mixed mode solution is modular and allows for flexible expansion of capacity, as well as the easy re-allocation of resources from one technology to another. All of this perfectly meets Turkcell’s needs to provide excellent mobile broadband performance in even the busiest network hotspots like city centers, business parks and public venues.

In the words of Gulay Yardim, Radio Network Planning Director at Turkcell, “Ericsson’s new baseband units are future proof - they support capacity increase and new technologies like the Internet of Things and 5G.”

Thanks to previous projects, most of Turkcell’s sites were already modernized therefore a transition to the new Baseband 5216 units was smooth and efficient, even in complex site configurations.

Best-in-class coverage

Following the successful roll out of the new technology across Turkcell’s network, it was immediately clear how big a step forward the operator had taken. Within the first hour of the new technology coming online, one million users had been migrated onto the new LTE bands, followed by 20 percent of the entire user base within one month.

The throughput numbers coming in were impressive. Users in the Marmara region were enjoying downlink speeds 20 percent faster than the nearest competing operator, despite now serving 4 times as many users through the same amount of base stations as before.

Alongside an increased user experience, the technology roll out showed withheld KPI levels, underlining Turkcell’s leadership across the coverage range, even when using a triple standard configuration on a single board.

This world-first three-in-one technology approach also delivered unprecedented opex savings for Turkcell. With the full mixed mode functionality and its’ reduced hardware footprint as well as the lower energy consumption, TCO can be reduced by 20 percent.
“With the help of this technology we can give our customers more speed, more coverage, and more quality, and this puts us one step further ahead of the competition”, explained Gediz Sezgin, Turkcell’s Chief Technical Officer in Turkey.

With more capital freed up for coming technology investments, thanks to the savings delivered by this project, Turkcell is ready for new challenges. As their long term partner and R&D collaborator, Ericsson is proud to be there to support them.

Read the PDF version of this case story

Customer profile

With 34 million mobile subscribers and 46.8 percent of the market share, Turkcell is the leading mobile network operator in Turkey, with a further regional network extending to a total of 68.9 million users in 9 countries.



  • Support current diverse range of 2G, 3G and 4G users
  • Make room for future growth of 5G users
  • Roll out new network solution with minimal impact on user experience
  • Retain technology leadership in Turkey


  • Full mixed mode Baseband 5216 unit for a three-in-one technology agnostic approach
  • Build on existing strong R&D relationship to install tech quickly and easily
  • Continue work started in 2015 on the continuous deployment project


  • Best-in-class network performance KPIs
  • Best network coverage with 20 percent faster speeds than closest operator
  • 20 percent TCO reduction for Turkcell with 80 percent of sites using only 1 board
  • Future-proof network ready for 5G, Elastic RAN and NarrowBand IoT
  • Increased investment in new technologies thanks to opex savings

Our solutions

Ericsson Baseband

Ericsson Baseband 5216 is the industry's first full mixed mode baseband. It can handle all three standards simultaneously on one single board.

Ericsson Radio System

Ericsson Radio System delivers industry-leading performance on the industry’s smallest site footprint with the lowest energy consumption.

Plug in to the 5G future

Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks and we enable these networks to flexibly evolve based on user demand, new applications, and local market requirements. With Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins, mobile operators can begin to 5g trials and implement 5G technology as early as this year, and evolve to 5G at their own pace.

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