Avea, Turkey – www.avea.com.tr
“Avea” (A ve (and) A: Initial letters of before-merger operators Aria and Aycell) is one of three GSM operators in Turkey. It has been founded in 2004 with the merger of the two GSM operators Aycell (owned by Turk Telekom) and Aria (joint venture of Is Bankasi (51%) and TIM (49%)). TIM and Turk Telekom owned 40.5% stake each and Is Bank Group held 19%. In September 2006, Telecom Italia, having received authorisation from the relevant Turkish authorities, finalized the sale of 40.5% stake in Avea, held by subsidiary TIM International, to Turk Telekom, for a total of USD 500 million. Currently, 81% of Avea is owned by Turk Telekom and remaining 19% is owned by Is Bankasi. Its competitors, Turkcell and Vodafone Turkey, have both been founded in 1994 and use the GSM 900 frequency range while Avea uses the GSM 1800 range.