Iran - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Executive summary

Iran shows progress in 2014 with fibre network deployment

In recent years the international community identified Iran as lagging behind in terms of broadband infrastructure and access, particularly when compared to other GCC member states. However in 2014 there are encouraging moves underway to improve this situation, with the FttX operator Iranian-net currently deploying a fibre network which aims to have 8 million customers by 2020.

Broadband penetration is also improving due to the growing number of competing ISPs, made possible through a licensing scheme. Competition has also improved following the launch of alternative infrastructure-based offerings centred on WiMAX.

In 2014 there are four companies licensed to provide WiMAX services, including MobinNet, MTN Irancell; MTCE and Rayaneh Danesh. In 2013 Datak Telecom failed to obtain ongoing authorization to continue to offer WiMAX services.

Despite these progressive developments; censorship in Iran appears to be increasing with Iraq utilising China’s experience on how to implement Internet control using Iran’s National Internet Network. In addition social media apps have been banned at various times including Instagram, Facebook , YouTube and Twitter and all Iranian’s are required to register their websites with the Ministry of Art and Culture.

Other potential inhibitors to growth in Iran include the government’s tight control of the telecoms market combined with the general economic situation and international sanctions. One bright spot however is the mobile sector which has shown strong growth.

With a young population willing to embrace technology; Iran has seen huge growth in mobile subscriber numbers in response to competition over the past 8 years. It now has nearly 90% mobile penetration and there is still room for continued revenue growth. Mobile data services are available but account for only a small proportion of total revenue. This is expected to increase over time as it becomes clear that mobile data services will increasingly underpin future revenue growth.

Key telecom parameters – 2012; 2014

Sector
2012
2014
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Broadband
3.1
5.0
Fixed-line telephony
28.8
30.2
Mobile phone
58.2
69.8

(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), 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 may 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/VoIP
  • 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 ISP market
      • 7.1.3 Broadband and Internet statistics
    • 7.2 Broadband subscriber forecasts
    • 7.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • 7.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • 7.5 Wireless (fixed) broadband
      • 7.5.1 WiMAX
  • 8. Digital economy
    • 8.1 Overview
      • 8.1.1 E-government
      • 8.1.2 E-commerce
      • 8.1.3 E-education
      • 8.1.4 E-health
  • 9. Digital broadcasting
    • 9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
    • 9.2 Satellite TV
    • 9.3 IPTV
  • 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 Major mobile operators
      • 10.3.1 TCI/Mobile Communications Iran (MCI)/Hamrah-e-Avval
      • 10.3.2 MTN Irancell
      • 10.3.3 Tamin Telecom (Rightel)
      • 10.3.4 Taliya/Rafsanjan Industrial Complex Islamic Cooperative Company (RIC)
      • 10.3.5 Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE)
      • 10.3.6 Telecommunications Kish Company (TKC)
    • 10.4 Mobile voice services
      • 10.4.1 Prepaid
      • 10.4.2 Satellite mobile
    • 10.5 Mobile data
      • 10.5.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 10.5.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
      • 10.5.3 GPRS
      • 10.5.4 Mobile broadband
    • 10.6 Mobile content and applications
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Iran – 2014
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2014
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2014
  • Table 4 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2014
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2014
  • 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
  • Exhibit 4 – Bitcoin

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