Hürriyet Daily News
British Telecom (BT) is planning to make Istanbul a regional hub alongside Dubai and Johannesburg, South Africa, and will increase its investments in networks and IT services two-fold, said Luis Alvarez, president in charge of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, at a conference yesterday in Istanbul.
BT Global Services, part of BT Group, is planning to make Istanbula “Global Center of Satellite Excellence” and will connect the region as far as South Africa with a loop of underwater network cables over the next 12 months.
“Our strategy in Turkey consists of three parts and these are: more networks, more products and more people,” said Alvarez, explaining the British network telecommunications giant wants to increase its investments in Turkey because of the country’s strong economic growth, young and dynamic population, strong IT base and the fact that the country is becoming a hub for many international businesses.
“Turkish companies like Arçelik are becoming multinationals and our customers are also investing here,” said Alvarez, noting that Spanish bank BBVA, a BT customer, has partnered with Turkey’s Garanti Bank.
“As international companies and domestic companies are investing in Turkey’s telecommunications sector, we see a 1.5 billion pound market and we want to tap into that,” said Alvarez.
As part of its strategy of doubling its investments in Turkey, BT is planning to launch 10 new products for the Turkish market and wants to reach 21 cities with 6,000 ethernet services. In addition the company plans to hire 400 employees and 50 consultants. These new employees will be IT experts who also have sector-specific expertise. For example, BT is partnering with Novartis Turkey for a pharma cloud project and also provides network services for traders in the financial services sector.
Some of BT’s current customers in Turkey include Akbank, Hürriyet, Visa, HSBC, Vodafone, Deutsche Bank, Türk Telekom, Turkcell, TNT, Fiat and Yapı Kredi Bank.