4G gets the works except the Turks

istanbul-2The only former world empire to be named after a piece of furniture has decided to give 4G technology a miss.

The once “sick man of Europe” Turkey is debating cancelling a May tender for 4G telecoms infrastructure and moving to 5G instead.

President Tayyip Erdogan urged the country not to “lose time” with the technology and move straight to 5G.

Erdogan last week called for a move to fifth-generation mobile networks, within two years, skipping the current 4G technology.

However more cynical observers say that this is Erdogan trying to put positive spin on a disastrous tender process. The process was supposed to finish in May and if it is like any other big Turkish contract it will be full of stories of bribery, corruption and inefficiency. If something has gone wrong then axing the 4G move might bury a scandal before it is made public.

The Information and Communication Technologies Authority this month set a May 26 deadline for a 4G tender for 20 frequency segments at a minimum value of around $2.5 billion.

Officials have previously said 4G services would be offered from the start of 2016.