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Turkey's Mobile and Top-up Landscape

Top up online in TurkeyTurkey is a large country with a population exceeding 73 million. This enormous country has 3 mobile service providers; Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea. They hold the mobile market share of 51.1%, 28.5% and 20.4% respectively. With a total of more than 66.1 million subscribers the mobile penetration in turkey is 88.5% and it is split up between 62.6% prepaid users and 37.4% postpaid users.Buying a SIM card in Turkey is easy but it cannot be used until it is registered, this requires registration with official prove of identification, for example a valid passport, this applies both to the local citizen as well as to foreigners. Due to the easiness of use and availability of various plans that one can choose from, prepaid or pay-as-you-go SIM cards are very popular in Turkey.It is very convenient to top-up a SIM card in Turkey, as recharge vouchers can be bought on every corner. Since there are only three large service providers, official shops and authorized distributors are found everywhere, which sell top-up for Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea.Top-up is done in units and is locally known as “Kontör”. This means that you don’t buy minutes but units and depending on which operator or line you call you pay certain units per minutes. One of the good things is that you get bonus units every time you top-up and the bigger the amount you top up, the more bonus “Kontör” you get, hence this makes calls cheaper as you top up more.The following list of top-up units for Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea are taken from their homepages and should give you an overview about how much it costs to make a call and what you get when you top-up.Turkcell
  • TL 30 will get you 100 “Kontör”, which makes it 0.3 per unit.
  • The normal cost of call is TL 0.40 Per min, when you recharge for TL 30 the cost for call is TL 0.50 per 5 minutes, when you refill for TL 50 the cost for call is TL 0.50 per 10 minutes.
  • National SMS: TL 0.415, International SMS: TL 0.75, National MMS: TL 0.80, International MMS: TL 2.80
  • Data: TL 0.50/100KB
Vodafone
  • TL 24 will get you 250 “Kontör”, which makes it 0.096 per unit and also the cheapest among the three service providers.
    • The normal cost for calling is TL 0.40 per min. If you refill with less than TL 20 you get the special rate on the day you refill. If you refill with more than TL 20 you get the special tariff for 30 days. If you do not refill again you switch back to the normal tariff.
    • National SMS: TRY 0.41, International SMS: TRY 0.75, MMS: TRY 0.80
    • Data: TL 0.001/KB
Avea
  • For TL 20 you will get 100 “Kontör” of credit, which makes it 0.20 per unit.
  • The normal cost for calling is TL 0.40/min. With the following tariffs you get cheaper rates whenever you refill. The special rate is valid for 30 days from the refill date. Billing unit for the standard rate is 60/60. For the special rates, HepsiBir, TL 20 refill: 120/120, HepsiBir, TL 30 refill: 180/180, MobilÖğrenci, TL 30 refill: 600/600 MobilÖğrenci, TL 50 refill: 1200/120.
  • National SMS: TL 0.50,International SMS: TL 0.75, MMS: TL 0.99 - € 0.42
  • Data: TL 0.0017/KB
Prepaid plans are available for making calls, SMS, Internet (data), a combination of any two and all in one. You should choose a plan according to your need.When you buy a prepaid SIM, it comes with a certain amount of units and once they are used up, the SIm-card should be topped up as soon as possible. Although the SIM cards have a validity period of six months to a year, depending on the plan. When you find yourself abroad, you can always top-up Turkcell, Avea and Vodafone with Fonmoney.The mobile numbers for Avea, Turkcell and Vodafone are listed below, but it does not always mean that the number prefixes match, due to mobile number portability, which means that you can keep your existing number even when you change the service provider.Turkcell prefixes:530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 538, 539Vodafone prefixes:540, 541, 542, 543, 544, 545, 546, 547, 548, 549Avea prefixes:500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 550, 551, 552, 553, 554, 555, 556, 557, 558, 559