Iran - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

The large market of Iran has room for telecoms sector growth

Looking at Iran from a broad perspective; it appears to offer significant opportunities for telecoms growth. Its population is one of the largest in the Middle East, it has a youthful population where the majority are under the age of 30 and there is an unmet demand for both fixed and mobile telecoms services.

A lack of significant investment in Iran’s fixed and mobile infrastructure over the last few years, when compared to other markets, has resulted in slow network speeds and low penetration rates for broadband. This is slowly changing in the wake of the lifting of economic sanctions - and a renewed interest in infrastructure investment is emerging.

Mobile penetration is considered high with a penetration of over 125%, with most citizens accessing 2G and 3G networks. 4G LTE services are becoming available and the large operators have experienced an increase in data revenues. There is much room for growth in this area with penetration levels at just over 50%.

Many unique challenges and opportunities exist in the telecoms Iranian market, which BuddeComm will explore in further detail throughout this report along with analyses of the market, key industry statistics, and information on the key developments and major players.

Recent developments:

  • A significant development occurred in early 2018 when TCI began infrastructure sharing its fibre network with competitors.
  • Smart phone penetration is relatively low in Iran compared to other markets.
  • Development towards an IoT and M2M ecosystem is in development with MCI and Ericsson forming a partnership.
  • Iran is implementing it 6th Development Plan during 2016 – 2021.
  • The broadband operator, Iranian-net, is currently deploying a fibre network which aims to have 8 million customers by 2020.
  • MTN Irancell tested its 5G network in late 2017 in conjunction with Ericsson.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Mobile Communications Iran (MCI), MTN Irancell, Tamin Telecom (Rightel), Rafsanjan Industrial Complex (Taliya).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Market analysis
    • 3.2 Recent developments
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Historic overview
    • 4.2 Sixth five year plan 2016 -2021
    • 4.3 Regulatory authority
    • 4.4 WiMAX licences
    • 4.5 Number Portability (NP)
    • 4.6 Roaming
  • 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 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 7.1.1 Market analysis
      • 7.1.2 Broadband statistics
    • 7.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 7.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 7.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 7.4.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
  • 8. Digital economy
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 E-Health
    • 8.3 Video-streaming and IPTV
    • 8.4 Start-ups
  • 9. Mobile communications
    • 9.1 Market analysis
      • 9.1.1 MVNOs
    • 9.2 Mobile statistics
      • 9.2.1 General statistics
    • 9.3 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 9.4 Regulatory issues
      • 9.4.1 Second mobile licence – MTN Irancell
      • 9.4.2 Third Mobile licence – Tamin Telecom (Rightel)
    • 9.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 9.5.1 5G
      • 9.5.2 4G LTE
      • 9.5.3 GSM, 3G
    • 9.6 Major mobile operators
      • 9.6.1 MCI (Mobile Communications Iran)/Hamrah-e-Avval
      • 9.6.2 MTN Irancell
      • 9.6.3 Tamin Telecom (Rightel)
      • 9.6.4 Taliya/Rafsanjan Industrial Complex Islamic Cooperative Company (RIC)
    • 9.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 9.7.1 Messaging services
      • 9.7.2 M-banking (payments/loans)
    • 9.8 Mobile handsets
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Iran – 2018
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2018
  • Table 3 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2018
  • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2018
  • Table 5 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 6 - Iran – GDP and inflation – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2020
  • Table 8 – International Internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Internet users and penetration estimates – 1996 - 2017
  • Table 10 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2020
  • Table 11 – Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 12 – Historical - Irancell WiMAX subscribers – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 13 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1995 - 2006
  • Table 14 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2007 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Mobile broadband subscriptions and penetration – 2013 – 2020
  • Table 16 – Mobile Internet subscriber penetration and smartphone adoption – Iran, Israel, Turkey, GGC States, Arab States – Q2 2017; 2020
  • Table 17 – Mobile operators market share – 2016; mid 2017
  • Table 18 – MTN Irancell – Revenue and CAPEX – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 19 – MTN Irancell – mobile subscribers – 2007 – 2016
  • Chart 1 – Iran - mobile subscribers versus mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 - 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Privatisation of TCI

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