Internet speed in Istanbul 

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Matthew Hillier

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If you’re moving to Istanbul or planning to visit soon, one question you may have is: what is the internet speed like in Istanbul? 

After all, in our digital age, internet access has become a major factor in choosing where to live and work. Today, many digital nomads and remote workers travel to Istanbul.

The good news is that the city has come a long way in terms of internet infrastructure and speed in recent years.

In 2023, Turkey as a country reached an average internet speed of 33.32 Mbps (megabits per second), which is an improvement from previous years.

When looking at just Istanbul many neighborhoods have experienced significant advancements in their internet connectivity, especially in the city center and business districts. This is partly due to the governments work to improve internet infrastructure. 

The average internet speed in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city with a population of over 16 million people. It’s a vibrant, bustling hub, home to a thriving business district as well as a rich cultural and tourist scene. 

The average speeds in Istanbul for fixed broadband (March 2023)

  • According to a report by Speedtest.net, the average download speed in Istanbul is 39.01 Mbps.
  • The average upload speed in the city is 7.26 Mbps.

The same report indicated that Istanbul’s fixed broadband internet speed places it at number 122 (March 2023) in a rank with 192 other cities.

  • Position 1: Beijing 264.92 Mbps
  • Position 21: Dubai 167.50 Mbps
  • Position 99: Sydney 54.23 Mbps
  • Position 122: Istanbul 39.01 Mbps
  • Position 141: Cairo 27 Mbps

Turkey as a country ranks at 110 out of 180 in terms of average countries internet speeds. When we compare it to the surrounding countries, Turkey has a relatively strong average internet speed. 

Our own internet speed test (April 2023)

For a real-life test, we ran the internet speed test in our apartment in Istanbul. We were very pleased with the results:

Download speed: 103.06 Mbps

Upload speed: 9.45 Mbps

Speedtest screenshot

Our apartment is located close to the city centre on the European-side. It’s surrounded by hotels and popular tourist sites so we can assume the infrastructure in our area is pretty good. 

Internet speed is impacted by many factors, so when you look at the average speed you might be surprised to see that many tourist and business areas in Istanbul get much higher speeds.

Comparison of internet speed in Istanbul vs. other Turkish cities

Here are a few examples of how Istanbul’s internet speed compares with other cities in Turkey (comparison based on Q1 2023 Speedtest Global Index):

CityAverage Download SpeedAverage Upload Speed
Istanbul37.58 Mbps7.14 Mbps
Izmir33.79 Mbps7.08 Mbps
Ankara33.76 Mbps6.35 Mbps
Adana25.78 Mbps5.05 Mbps
Bursa25.45 Mbps5.69 Mbps

As you can see, Istanbul has a marginally faster average download and upload speed than Izmir, Turkey’s third most populous city. 

Factors affecting internet speed in Istanbul

If you’re experiencing slow internet speeds in Istanbul, it could be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Infrastructure: The quality of your internet connection depends on the infrastructure of your service provider. In Istanbul, the internet infrastructure is generally good, but it can vary from area to area.
  • Peak hours: During peak hours, when most people are using the internet simultaneously, you may experience slower speeds. In Istanbul, peak hours are typically between 6 PM and 11 PM.
  • Distance from exchange points: The distance between your home or office and the nearest exchange point can also affect your internet speed. The further you are from the exchange point, the slower your internet speed will be.
  • ISP plan: The plan you choose from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can have a significant impact on your internet speed. The higher the plan you choose, the faster your internet speed will be.
  • Network congestion: If a large number of people are using the internet at the same time in your locality, it can cause network congestion, which can cause your internet speed to slow down.
  • Hardware and software: Old hardware and outdated software can also cause slow internet speeds. If your router or computer is outdated, it may not be able to handle high-speed internet.

Internet providers in Istanbul

When it comes to internet providers in Istanbul, there are several companies you can choose from. Some of the major providers include:

  • Turk Telekom: This is the largest internet service provider in Turkey, providing both landline and mobile internet services. They offer a variety of packages with different data limits and speeds.
  • Turkcell Superonline: Offering high-speed fiber internet services to households and businesses. They offer several different packages with varying speeds ranging from 24 Mbps to 1000 Mbps.
  • Vodafone Turkey: Vodafone is a mobile and landline internet service provider with several different packages for both home and business use. They offer affordable internet services with speeds ranging from 16 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

Other internet providers in Istanbul include Türksat, TTNET(TTNET is a subsidiary of Türk Telekom), and Millenicom Turkey.

According to SpaceX, Starlink internet could be entering into the Turkish market later in 2023.

Comparison of internet plans in Istanbul

Here is a brief comparison of some of the popular internet plans in Istanbul:

1. Türk Telekom

Türk Telekom is one of the largest internet service providers in Istanbul, offering various internet plans to meet different needs. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Plan NameSpeedData LimitPrice (per month)
Fiber internetUp to 1000 MbpsUnlimitedTRY 184-609 (depending on location)
ADSL internetUp to 35 MbpsUnlimitedTRY 179-239 (depending on location)

2. Turkcell Superonline

Turkcell Superonline is another popular internet service provider that offers high-speed internet plans in Istanbul. Here are some of their most popular plans:

Plan NameSpeedData LimitPrice (per month)
Fiber internetUp to 1000 MbpsUnlimitedTRY 204-420 (depending on location)
ADSL internetUp to 24 MbpsUnlimitedTRY 189-219 (depending on location)

3. Vodafone Turkey

Vodafone is a relatively new player in the internet service provider market in Istanbul, but they are growing in popularity. Here are some of their most popular plans:

Plan NameSpeedData LimitPrice (per month)
Fiber internetUp to 100 MbpsUnlimitedTRY 79-102
ADSL internetUp to 100 MbpsUnlimitedTRY 79-102

It’s worth noting that these are not the only internet plans available in Istanbul, and there may be other providers that offer plans with different features and pricing.

The future of internet speed in Istanbul

With Istanbul’s growing population and increasing demand for faster internet speeds, internet service providers are working towards improving the network infrastructure in the city. Here are some of the initiatives being taken to improve internet speeds in Istanbul:

  • Fiber optic expansion: The government is investing in expanding the fiber optic network across the city to offer higher internet speeds. As of 2021, over 3 million households have access to fiber optic internet in Istanbul.
  • 5G network implementation: The implementation of the 5G network is underway in Istanbul, which promises to deliver faster internet speeds and lower latency. Turkey’s leading telecommunications companies have been rolling out 5G in different areas of Istanbul. 
  • Private sector participation: The government is actively involving the private sector to invest in the country’s telecommunication infrastructure. The private sector is playing a significant role in improving the internet speeds in Istanbul by investing in the latest technologies and expanding the network coverage.

All of these initiatives are expected to have a positive impact on the internet speeds of Istanbul.

Frequently asked questions about internet speed in Istanbul

If you are new to Istanbul or planning to move to the city, you might be curious about internet speed and quality. Here are some commonly asked questions about internet speed in Istanbul.

What is the average download speed in Istanbul?

According to recent data for March 2023, the average download speed in Istanbul is about 39.01 Mbps. The speed can vary throughout the city depending on factors such as location, service provider, and network congestion.

Are there any areas in Istanbul with particularly slow internet speeds?

Some areas of Istanbul may have slower internet speeds due to factors such as infrastructure or network congestion. However, these areas can vary and are not limited to specific neighborhoods or districts.

Can you get high-speed fiber internet in Istanbul?

Yes, high-speed fiber internet is available in Istanbul through various service providers. These connections can provide faster internet speeds and more reliable connections for online activities such as streaming and gaming.

Is the internet speed in Istanbul fast enough for remote work or online classes?

In general, the internet speed in Istanbul is fast enough for remote work or online classes. However, it’s important to research and choose a provider and plan that can support these activities with reliable and consistent connection speeds.

What factors can impact internet speeds in Istanbul?

Several factors can impact internet speeds in Istanbul, including network congestion, service provider, location, and device capabilities. It’s important to consider all of these factors when choosing an internet plan and provider.

How can you test your internet speed in Istanbul?

You can test your internet speed in Istanbul by using online speed test tools such as speedtest.net. These tools can provide a general idea of your internet speed and help you determine if you need to upgrade or change plans or providers.

What should you do if you experience slow internet speeds in Istanbul?

If you experience consistently slow internet speeds in Istanbul, you should consider contacting your service provider to troubleshoot the issue. It’s possible that there could be an infrastructure issue or that your plan needs an upgrade to support your online activities.

Summary

Istanbul has shown significant progress in terms of internet speed in recent years. From the available data, it is evident that Turkey’s largest city has surpassed many of its neighboring countries in providing faster internet to its residence. 

The factors that contributed to this improvement include the government’s initiatives, increased competition among service providers, and the rapid development of infrastructure. 

Despite the growth, some areas in Istanbul still struggle with internet connectivity issues. The pandemic caused a significant increase in internet usage not just in Istanbul but also globally. As remote work, online learning, and virtual events become the new norm, internet speed and reliability are more critical than ever. 

Istanbul’s progress in this area puts the city in a better position to adapt to the changing times and serve its residents’ needs.

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