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Iran - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Executive summary

Iran increases control over its Internet

Iran’s telecoms market is one of the largest in the Middle East given the size of its population. The fixed line market is the largest in the Middle East by subscriber lines yet is dominated by the incumbent operator, Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI).

Internet usage is growing due to improved accessibility brought about by competition and government initiatives. Broadband penetration is improving given the growing number of competing ISPs, made possible through a licensing scheme.

Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Iran has taken steps to develop a digital economy. However this has been contradicted by Iran’s systematic and ongoing efforts to censor the Internet, with an initiative underway to deploy a “National Internet”.

Mobile services are widely available in Iran with services available from a total of six mobile network operators, three of which are able to offer services on a national basis. Competition has vastly improved Iran’s mobile market, which was previously characterised by the huge level of unmet demand for services.

All this has now changed and Iran has seen huge growth in mobile subscriber numbers in response to competition. Current penetration levels indicate room for continued revenue growth. Mobile data services are available but account for a small proportion of total revenue. This is expected to increase over time as mobile data services increasingly underpins future revenue growth, made possible by the launch of 3G/HSPA services.

Key telecom parameters – 2012; 2014

Sector
2012
2014
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Broadband
3.1
4.5
Fixed-line telephony
28.8
29.3
Mobile phone
58.2
61.2

(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Pishgaman Kavir Yazd Group, ParsOnline, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Mobile Communications Iran (MCI), MTN Irancell, Tamin Telecom (Rightel), Rafsanjan Industrial Complex (Taliya), Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE), Telecommunication Kish Company (TKC).

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Iran’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2023;

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Overview of Iran’s telecom market
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Background
    • 4.2 Privatisation of TCI
    • 4.3 WiMAX licences
    • 4.4 Regulatory authority
  • 5. Fixed network operators in Iran
    • 5.1 Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI)
    • 5.2 Other licence holders/Zoha Kish
  • 6. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 6.1 National telecom network
      • 6.1.1 National Internet Network (NIN)
    • 6.2 International infrastructure
      • 6.2.1 Submarine and terrestrial cable networks
      • 6.2.2 Satellite networks
  • 7. Broadband access market
    • 7.1 Overview
      • 7.1.1 Censorship
      • 7.1.2 Broadband and Internet statistics
      • 7.1.3 ISP market
    • 7.2 Broadband subscriber forecasts
    • 7.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • 7.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
    • 7.5 Wireless (fixed) broadband
      • 7.5.1 WiMAX
  • 8. Digital economy
    • 8.1 Overview
      • 8.1.1 2009 Presidential elections and follow-up
    • 8.2 Services
      • 8.2.1 E-government
      • 8.2.2 E-commerce
      • 8.2.3 E-education
      • 8.2.4 E-health
  • 9. Digital broadcasting
    • 9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
    • 9.2 Satellite TV
  • 10. Mobile communications
    • 10.1 Overview of Iran’s mobile market
      • 10.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 10.2 Regulatory issues
      • 10.2.1 Third Mobile licence – Tamin Telecom
      • 10.2.2 Second GSM licence – Irancell
    • 10.3 Mobile technologies
      • 10.3.1 Local handset manufacture
    • 10.4 Major mobile operators
      • 10.4.1 TCI/Mobile Communications Iran (MCI)
      • 10.4.2 MTN Irancell
      • 10.4.3 Tamin Telecom (Rightel)
      • 10.4.4 Taliya/Rafsanjan Industrial Complex Islamic Cooperative Company (RIC)
      • 10.4.5 Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE)
      • 10.4.6 Telecommunications Kish Company (TKC)
    • 10.5 Mobile voice services
      • 10.5.1 Prepaid
      • 10.5.2 Satellite mobile
    • 10.6 Mobile data
      • 10.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 10.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
      • 10.6.3 GPRS
      • 10.6.4 Mobile broadband
    • 10.7 Mobile content and applications
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Iran – 2013
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2013
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2013
  • Table 4 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2013
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – GDP growth and inflation – 2006 - 2014
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2014
  • Table 9 – International Internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 10 – Internet users and penetration estimates – 1996 - 2014
  • Table 11 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2000 - 2014
  • Table 12 – Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2014
  • Table 13 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2014, 2018; 2023
  • Table 14 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2014, 2018; 2023
  • Table 15 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1995 - 2014
  • Table 16 – MTN Irancell – Revenue and CAPEX – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 17 – MTN Irancell – Subscribers, ARPU and MOU – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 18 – MTN Irancell non-SMS data revenue – 2009 - 2012
  • Chart 1 – Iran fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2014

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