Türk Telekom is continuing its R&D activities with the vision of becoming a leader in communication technologies in Turkey and close geography in order to provide innovative solutions to customers through research, development and commercialization of new generation technologies. In line with this vision, in order to carry out its research and development activities more efficiently and effectively, the Avea R&D Center was established, Turkey's first mobile operator R&D Center, in 2010. After the merger of Türk Telekom, Avea and TTNet, all R&D activities of these companies have been united under the roof of Türk Telekom R&D Center, which was established in May 2016.
In order to develop innovative products and services, to develop innovative systems that will enable telecom operations to be realized more efficiently and effectively, to expand the patent portfolio of Türk Telekom Group, to research and evaluate advanced technologies including LTE and other mobile connection technologies that may affect the group's activities and to contribute to the adoption of these technologies, R&D activities are shaped in line with the following strategies:
- Follow-up of future technologies, know-how creation and proof-of-concept studies
- Developing innovative products, services and solutions using emerging technologies
- Providing innovative solutions to the technological problems within the company
- Making patent applications and supporting scientific publications within the scope of R&D collaborations and activities
- Establishing close relations with universities and supporting open innovation
- Working with SME R&D partners to develop prototypes that can be transformed into innovative products/services and to support the product development/commercialization phase
- Conducting advanced research by participating in multinational research projects (Horizon 2020, Eureka etc.)
- Execution of publicly supported projects (TEYDEB, SAN-TEZ etc.)
- Increasing the employment of qualified labor force, supporting the academic career and scientific activities of its employees within the scope of improving their personal and professional knowledge.
In line with these strategies, Türk Telekom R&D Center carries out studies on the following areas:
Big Data & Data Visualization
- Operator Data Visualization - Providing analysis of time-spatial data, which constitutes a large part of data sets of telecom operators, with interactive visual methods
- Customer Experience Management - Improving the quality of service received by Corporate/Individual customers
- Network Resource Management - Network performance management and infrastructure investment planning optimization
- Data based value-added services that do not breach confidentiality of customers
- Customer and employee commitment analysis and forecasting
- Fraud detection
Next Generation Communications & Services
- Heterogeneous networks
- SDN / NFV
- M2M / D2D
- Cloud Computing based Services
Over the last 5 years 19 EU and 16 TUBITAK projects have been carried out on the above study fields. In the year 2016, cooperation with 15 universities, 12 SMEs and 7 R&D Centers was realized within the scope of EU, TUBITAK and Internal R&D projects. Owing to the project works carried out within the collaborations made, 116 patent applications made and 25 scientific papers were published in the 2016.
Multinational R&D Projects
Türk Telekom Group carries out research projects with many international universities, research centers, large companies and SMEs. The main purpose of these projects for Türk Telekom is expanding know-how of Türk Telekom Group by cooperating with the organizations that have competence in specific issues. Within this scope, Türk Telekom took part in 8 (ROMEO, OFERTIE, BATS, COMBO, CROWD, MOTO, i-Treasures) 7th Framework Program (FP7) projects, 8 (MEVICO, H2B2VS, MITSU, TILAS, SHARING, SIGMONA, STEM, PULPA) EU Celtic+ projects, 2 (BUDDY and PAPUD) EU ITEA projects, and 1 (CLEAR 5G) H2020 project. Among these projects ROMEO, OFERTIE, BATS, COMBO, CROWD, MOTO ForgetIT, MEVICO, H2B2VS, MITSU, TILAS, SHARING and SIGMONA projects have been successfully concluded and other projects are still continuing.
Successful presentations and demos for the SIGMONA project, lasting for approximately three years and completed in 2016, executed during Mobile World Congress 2015 and 2016. SIGMONA project was awarded the Celtic Plus Excellence Award in Barcelona on May 18, 2017 under the category "Network Technologies".
In addition, Clear5G (the convergent wireless access for reliable 5G MTC for the future) H2020 project proposal was accepted by EU in 2017. Clear5G project consists of 5 Taiwanese and 7 European companies and from Turkey only Argela and Türk Telekom were accepted as project partners. With the adoption of this project, Türk Telekom became the first Turkish operator company to take a project in the field of 5G and beyond under the scope of H2020.
R&D on 5G Technology
Türk Telekom's 5G studies can be classified into three categories, namely 5G communication technologies, 5G enabled services and Data Analytics for 5G. These categories and interested areas within these categories are summarized as follows:
5G communication technologies: System architecture design management and integration of emerging 5G communication technologies related to Heterogeneous Networks, SDN/NFV, C-RAN, Network sharing, Li-Fi concepts, etc
5G enabled services: Services to be proliferated or introduced by 5G technology such as secure IoT and/or cloud based services
Data Analytics for 5G: Data driven optimization and management of network infrastructure, secure data based new value added services
In line with these interested 5G R&D Areas, Türk Telekom Group have been actively participating in European Union projects with national and international partners since 2012. MOTO (FP7), SIGMONA (Celtic+) and CROWD (FP7), whose focus were on 5G communication technologies, were successfully completed.
Clear5G (the converged wireless access for reliable 5G MTC for the factories of the future) project, on the other hand, is Türk Telekom's new 5G related EU project, which was approved in early 2017. The main focus of the project is on development of machine-type-communication (MTC) based 5G network for factories of the future, which is one of the concepts introduced with Industry 4.0. Participating with 11 partners, Türk Telekom's role in the project is the creation of a data analysis platform for the management of SDN (software defined networks) based distributed 5G communication networks.
In addition to these, 3 Eureka projects focusing on 5G enabled services have also been approved by European Commission and they are all on national funding applications stage. Besides, 3 TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) projects are being carried out and 1 TUBITAK project is under evaluation, which are all related to 5G communication technologies.
R&D Cooperation with Universities
In our R&D focus areas, we are conducting studies with universities at all levels of technological maturity. In this context, universities are not only engaged in academic research in advanced research areas but also developing prototypes for products and services that Türk Telekom Group need and/or offer to customers in the future. Türk Telekom also collaborate with universities to carry out applied studies on commercialization / production of these prototypes.
In this direction, project cooperations are realized with nearly 25 academicians from 15 universities each year within the scope of Türk Telekom R&D Center. These collaborations, not only with universities in Istanbul and Ankara but also with universities in Anatolia, are conducted within the framework of TÜBİTAK and EU projects such as Horizon 2020 and Eureka as well as Group's own Internal R&D projects. As part of these collaborations, 16 TUBITAK Projects have been successfully completed or carried out within the R&D Center and approximately 25 academic publications are being made each year.
In addition to these project-based collaborations within the R&D Center, long-term collaborations with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Bilkent University are also being carried out. In cooperation with MIT for three years, we have been working on areas that touches our lives directly, from Google Glass applications to smart home/city applications based on Internet of Things (IoT). This cooperation with MIT, enables us to transfer the knowledge and experience gained from abroad to our company and our country. Within the scope of Bilkent Türk Telekom Labs, which has been operating under the roof of Bilkent University for five years, the focus has been on topics such as big data, machine learning, data mining and artificial intelligence, and academic publications and patent applications are being made by collaborating on projects in these areas.
The Incubation Center was established in 2011 with the aim of supporting entrepreneurs to develop successful companies in the telecommunication sector and strengthen entrepreneurship ecosystem. Türk Telekom has been providing technical and commercial mentoring, opportunity to enlarge their companies and to develop innovative products. In this context, the possibilities provided to the firms are as follows:
- Office facilities (office space / furniture, software / hardware support, high speed communication, technical support, free dining / transportation)
- Using Türk Telekom Group's Test Laboratory and technical infrastructure
- Mentorship by Türk Telekom's technical and commercial teams
- Collaboration with Türk Telekom Group companies or Türk Telekom Group's business partners
- The ability to reach investor networks,
- Increasing firm awareness across the globe through corporate communication and fair participation
- Training opportunities
A total of 9 projects were completed with the companies selected in the first group for 18 months. The 3 graduated companies became the suppliers of Türk Telekom Group. In addition, cooperation with 6 of the 8 companies has been realized and 3 TEYDEB project has been completed.
Our incubation center has been selected among the best practices of R&D Centers in Turkey by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology in 2016.