There has been a flux of telecom activity moving from Western Europe to the east, but today we saw a move coming in the opposite direction. Turk Telecom, the former state-owned telecommunications company which operates both landline and mobile networks in Turkey, has agreed to purchase Hungary-based Invitel's international wholesale business for some $297M. Invitel operates a 27,000km trans-European network that, naturally, is deepest in the east and southeast and is an obvious stepping stone for Turk Telecom to the rest of Europe. Here's a quick look at the network being acquired:
Turkey's historical position as the gateway between the Middle East and Europe has until lately been irrelevant when it comes to international networking. Traffic instead goes through submarine cables like SEA-ME-WE-4 and around the Arabian peninsula to the Persian gulf, and there isn't a lot of physical diversity to be had on that route. Turk Telecom surely hopes to change that dynamic by buying the Invitel network. That network has changed hands a few times now, has it finally found a new home?
I really don't know much about Turk Telecom. Do they have the resources for further M&A? Are they more interested in their mobile efforts or in fiber?