Use the Lexology Navigator tool to compare the answers in this article with those from other jurisdictions.
Licensing and authorisation
What licences/authorisations are required to provide telecoms services?
Pursuant to Article 8 of the Electronic Communications Act, the provision of electronic communication services is subject to authorisation from the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA). Authorisation can be obtained through either a notification or a right-of-use procedure.
Operators can use the notification procedure if they do not need an allocation of resources such as numbers, frequencies or satellite positions. Operators will be authorised from the time of the notification made by the ICTA stating that they fulfil authorisation requirements. Similarly, operators that need an allocation of resources are deemed to be authorised on obtaining a right of use from the ICTA.
What are the eligibility, documentary and procedural requirements to obtain a licence/authorisation?
The application in both the notification and right-of-use procedures must be made before the commencement of the services. The applicant operator must be a joint stock or limited liability company incorporated in Turkey, in accordance with the laws of Turkey.
The applicant would need to complete a notification form which is provided on the website of the ICTA and provide the required information and supporting documents as listed under the Regulation on Authorisation for the Electronic Communication Sector (Authorisation Regulation). Such documents and information include:
- contact details; and
- descriptions and lists of services to be provided and the networks operated by the company.
If a right of use is necessary (eg, for numbering or frequency purposes), the operator must file an application using the application form provided on the ICTA website. If the operator wishes to be allocated resources such as numbers, then an additional request form must also be submitted.
Among other things, the applicant must submit information about and a description of:
- the services to be provided and the networks operated by the company;
- the target consumers;
- the infrastructure to be used by the company;
- the requested numbers;
- the satellites to be used by the company; and
- whether the network would need any interconnection.
As mentioned above, the following must be annexed to the application form:
- a form of frequency assignment; and
- a form of number assignment.
Validity period and renewal
What is the validity period for licences/authorisations and what are the terms of renewal?
Operators that are authorised by way of notification are deemed authorised following the ICTA's confirmation that the requirements have been fulfilled. These operators will remain authorised as long as they are registered with the ICTA.
The validity period for right of use is determined by the ICTA on a case-by-case basis, subject to periodic review, by taking into account the request of the applicant and the nature of the relevant network and services. However, the validity period cannot exceed 25 years.
What fees apply?
Operators providing electronic communication services under an authorisation granted pursuant to the Electronic Communications Act and the Authorisation Regulation must pay an authorisation fee. This fee consists of:
- an administrative fee; and
- a fee for right of use (in case of an application for right of use) under the Authorisation Regulation.
The operators must annually pay an administrative fee equal to 0.35% of their previous year's net sales. The ICTA may change this rate, but the rate cannot exceed 0.5% of the operator's previous year’s net sales but cannot be less than TRY10,000. Pursuant to Article 11(5) of the Electronic Communications Act, the minimum amount of fees for the right of use is determined by the Council of Ministers on the ICTA's and the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications’ proposal on the matter. Fees for rights of use to be applied in 2017 are available on the ICTA website.
Similarly, regardless of the type of authorisation obtained, operators are required to make a universal service payment, amounting to 1% of their previous year's net sales. However, there is no statutory cap applicable to the universal service payment rate.
In addition, Turkish law provides for an annual special communication tax for electronic communication services. The operator offering electronic communication services in question pays the special communication tax, reflecting it in the invoices issued to the users of the services.
What is the usual timeframe for obtaining a licence/authorisation?
The Authorisation Regulation provides no specific timeline within which the ICTA is required to inform the notifying or applicant company. However, there are certain timelines in which the operator must provide the necessary information to the ICTA.
The operator is deemed to be an authorised operator following the ICTA’s confirmation that the requirements have been fulfilled. The legislation is silent on the confirmation period.
Right of use
The ICTA will notify the applicant of any missing information in the application and request the completion of such information within three months following receipt of the ICTA notification by the relevant operator. On acceptance of the application, the ICTA notifies the applicant of the fee for right of use and requests the payment of the fee for the right of use within two months of receipt of the relevant notification by the company.
Click here to view the full article.