Turkey's Turk Telekom joins Open Networking Foundation


Turkish telecommunication giant Turk Telekom has become a partner-member of the international Open Networking Foundation (ONF), said Turkey's transport, maritime affairs and communication minister on Monday.

The ONF calls itself a nonprofit, operator-led global consortium driving the transformation of network infrastructure and carrier business models.

"This membership is an international step to contribute to the government's targets of developing national and domestic technologies," Ahmet Arslan told Anadolu Agency.

"A Turkish company will give direction to technology projects and set standards in this field by taking its place among decision-makers," he said.

Turk Telekom, the country's oldest telecommunication company, is owned by Oger Telecom (55 percent), the Turkish Treasury (25 percent) and the Turkiye Wealth Fund (5 percent), while the remaining 15 percent of its shares are publicly traded in Turkey's stock exchange market, Borsa Istanbul.

According to the company's financial reports, Turk Telecom's revenues reached 8.8 billion Turkish liras (around $2.41 billion) in the first six months of this year.

With over 33,000 employees, the company is providing nationwide integrated telecommunication services to its 39.6 million subscribers in the fixed voice, broadband, mobile, and pay TV markets.

This June Brand Finance, a London-based independent consultancy, named Turk Telekom Turkey's top brand with a value of $2.62 billion.

Noting Turkey's efforts to become a tech producer and exporter country, Arslan said that over the past 15 years the government has made a lot of successful moves in the fields of defense industry, transportation, and communication.

"These actions are not enough. Indeed, we have a lot of work to do," he added. "Therefore, the government supports strongly the private sector's efforts in local tech production."

"In this respect, it is very important for Turk Telekom to take a place among partner-members of the ONF, which can be called the world's heart of 5G technology and telecommunication infrastructure developments," Arslan said.

He also said that Turk Telekom will be aware of the latest issues and contribute to the ONF's projects with its own know-how.

Since 2011, the ONF consortium has been working with around 150 organizations among universities, equipment vendors, chip manufacturers, and software suppliers.

According to its mission, the ONF serves as the umbrella for a number of projects building solutions by leveraging network disaggregation, white box economics, open-source software and software-defined standards to revolutionize the carrier industry.

Partner-members -- including AT&T, China Unicom, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson, and Verizon -- have the most extensive rights in the ONF and provide major contributions to the community.

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