Turkcell's (NYSE:TKC) (BIST:TCELL) subsidiary Astelit, which operates under the life:) brand in Ukraine, successfully launched its 3G service at a ceremony held in Kiev on Thursday, June 4th. With this launch, life:) became the first GSM operator to offer 3G in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian Government representatives, Ukraine's first astronaut and Turkcell's upper management laun ...

Ukrainian Government representatives, Ukraine's first astronaut and Turkcell's upper management launch 3G services for the first time in Ukraine (Photo: Business Wire)

With life:)'s "3G+", Ukrainians will enjoy 3G in its fastest form with 3-Carrier technology, which allows for download speeds of up to 63.3Mbps.

At the 3G tender held in Ukraine on February 23rd, life:) had won the rights to invest in Lot1, which contains the most suitable frequencies for investment and superior customer experience. The speedy 3G roll-out came barely 3.5 months after the tender, and only 2.5 months after settlement of the licence fee of 3 billion 355 million UAH to the Ukrainian Government.

A historic moment for communication technologies in Ukraine

Speaking at the launch event hosted by life:) CEO Erdal Yayla, Mr. Ahmet Akca, Chairman of the Turkcell Board, emphasized that the 3G investment was proof of Turkcell's commitment to Ukraine. "With this investment, we are opening up new avenues for cooperation between Turkish and Ukrainian businesses. We are also contributing to the 10 billion USD trade volume target set forth by the Presidents of the two countries" said Akca, referring to the Strategic Council meeting held between Turkey and Ukraine on March 20th.

"At the end of 2014, Turkcell had become the first operator globally to offer 3G with 3-Carrier technology with its network update in Turkey. life:) is starting to offer 3G from this very high point which we have achieved a very short while ago" said Mr. Kaan Terzioglu, CEO of Turkcell. "life:) is a very important success story for Turkcell's international presence and influence. It will be our pilot project as Turkcell elevates its relevance in the region and raises its profile on the international scene."

Praise from Ukrainian officials for "technological breakthrough"

During the ceremony, Mr. Aivaraz Abramovicius, Ukrainian Minister of Economic Development and Trade,described the introduction of 3G as a technological breakthrough which will improve the national quality of life. "It is my hope that Turkcell's investment promotes international investment inflows from other companies," Minister Abramovicius commented.

Mr. Dmytro Shymkiv, the Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration congratulated Turkcell and life:) on the 3G launch, which will, "…bring about a greater digitalization of Ukraine. It will give our citizens the opportunity to use electronic services, including e-government and electronic payment systems, and will help the state in its efforts to counter corruption."

Mr. Alexander Zhyvotovsky, the Head of Ukrainian telecoms regulator NCCIR, praised life:) for the hard work and leadership it demonstrated, not only with its bid during the tender, but also with its continuous effort to introduce 3G within the shortest possible timeframe.

An emerging leader in the Ukrainian telecoms market

Founded in 2005, life:) entered the Ukrainian mobile telecommunications market as the third player. The operator, 55%-owned by Turkcell, has demonstrated solid growth in both subscriber number and market share over the past few years. life :) currently serves approximately 14 million Ukrainians, and is the market leader in smartphone penetration at 36%. The percentage of 3G-compatible devices on the life:) network is 40%, which puts the operator in a uniquely advantageous position in making an impact in the lives of its Ukrainian customers through its 3G offering.

ABOUT TURKCELL: Turkcell is an integrated communication and technology services player in Turkey. Turkcell Group has approximately 67.9 million mobile subscribers in nine countries as of March 31, 2015. Turkcell was one of the first among the global operators to have implemented HSPA+. It has announced two new HSPA+ Technologies on its 3G network to meet rising data usage. Having successfully integrated 3C-HSDPA and DC-HSUPA Technologies, it became the first mobile operator in the world to enable peak speed of 63.3 Mbps downlink, while also enabling an 11.5 Mbps uplink on a 3G network. Turkcell is the first telecom operator to offer households fiber broadband connection at speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps in Turkey. As of March 2015, Turkcell's population coverage is at 99.81% in 2G and 92.01% in 3G. Turkcell Group reported TRY3.0 billion (US$1.2 billion) in revenue with total assets of TRY24.0 billion (US$9.2 billion) as of March 31, 2015. It has been listed on the NYSE and the BIST since July 2000, and is the only NYSE-listed company in Turkey. Read more at www.turkcell.com.tr

You can follow Turkcell developments on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TurkcellNews

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