British Telecom has announced sweeping plans to make Istanbul not only a regional hub for its business (along with Dubai and Johannesburg, South Africa), but also a "Global Center of Satellite Excellence", according to aid Luis Alvarez, president in charge of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Speaking at a conference yesterday in Istanbul Alvarez said that the British communications giant will double its investment in Turkey in order to meet these goals, which include projects as ambitious as connecting Istanbul with the region as far as South Africa with a loop of underwater network cables over the next 12 months. He also spoke of plans to launch 10 new products in Turkey across 21 cities and backed up by 6000 ethernet services.
To do this 400 new employees and 50 consultants will be hired, Alvarez said that the 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.
"Our strategy in Turkey consists of three parts and these are: more networks, more products and more people," he said.
BT is keen to invest more in Turkey because of the country's strong economic growth, dynamic population, strong IT base and the fact that the country is becoming a hub for many international businesses said the charismatic European President, adding:
"Turkish companies like Arçelik are becoming multinationals and our customers are also investing here. 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."