Galatasaray Mobile or GS Mobile is a Turkish virtual cellular service provider owned by Galatasaray SK that uses the AveaGSM network for coverage. The company slogan is "one team, one heart, one network".
"Avea" (A ve (and) A: 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 (Turk Telekom) and Aria (joint venture of Türkiye İş Bankası (51%) and TIM (49%)). TIM and Turk Telekom own 40% stake each and İş Bank Group holds 20%. In September 2006, Telecom Italia announces that, having received authorisation from the relevant Turkish authorities, the sale of 40.5% stake in Avea, held by subsidiary TIM International, to Turk Telekom, for a total of USD 500 million, has been finalised. Therefore, the current shareholder structure is 81% owned by Turk Telekom and remaining 19% 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.
The merging of two GSM operators has resulted in the need of redesigning the network architecture to extend coverage and to solve the issues created by the network load. Avea has been able to complete most of that process about one year after its creation, and currently covers a vast majority of Turkey's land area with more than 7,000 base stations (A map can be found on The GSM World Web Page). In contrast to Turkcell and Vodafone, Avea doesn't have an extension in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and customers therefore roam on the Turkcell and Vodafone Turkey networks.
As the latest participant in the Turkish GSM sector, Aria, Aycell and Avea have been obliged to offer lower prices to attract a maximum number of customers. Consequently, Turkcell (the leader of the Turkish GSM market) has lowered down its intra-network call rates by a third after the creation of Aria, and halved all call rates when Avea has been launched.
Currently, customers pay between 0 and 0.35 Turkish Liras per minute for national calls and between 0.32 and 2.1 Turkish Liras per minute for international calls (for details, see The Avea Tariffs Web site); which roughly corresponds to respectively 0, 0.20, 0.19 and 1.1 euros per minute. The very common SMS service costs between 0 and 0.06 Turkish Liras per SMS for national SMS messages, and 0.21 Turkish Liras for international ones (which corresponds to 0, 0.03 and 0.12 euros) (you can see the Avea Service Tariffs Web Site for details).