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Iran - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 21 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 74

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Mobile broadband infrastructure has grown in Iran

Iran was one of the first countries in the world to experience a serious outbreak of the Covid-19 virus outbreak, with over 50,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths by early April 2020. In response to an increased demand for Internet access from citizens based at home, the three mobile operators, Hamrah-e Aval (MCI), MTN Irancell and Rightel developed special service offerings.

Operators in Iran are focused on driving up mobile broadband adoption and growing this important revenue stream. The infrastructure is in place for this growth, with Iran increasing its deployment of networks based on 4G considerably in recent years. 4G LTE population coverage has reached around 90%.

Iran is also looking towards a future based on 5G. The government is proactively preparing regulations for 5G deployment and considering suitable bandwidth allocation. It aims to launch services in the next couple of years.

Iran is keen to grow its Iran’s digital economy and the National Internet Network (NIN) is pivotal to Iran’s fixed broadband infrastructure plans and overall Smart City progress.

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, tech savvy demographic and there is an unmet demand for both fixed and mobile telecoms services. With 4G networks in place - mobile broadband adoption should grow over the next few years, especially as current mobile broadband penetration levels indicate there is room for subscriber growth.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains all around the world. During this time, the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device and ICT equipment production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to source necessary equipment or manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may also be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services is likely to be impacted by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. It is largely unknown what the long-term impacts will be as the crisis develops.

In addition, the report covers the responses of the telecom operators, as well as government agencies and regulators, as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

This BuddeComm report explores Iran’s telecoms sector in further detail along with analyses of the market, key industry statistics, and information on the key developments and major players.

Recent developments:

  • The operators recently began offering national roaming which is improving services in rural areas.
  • TCI allows infrastructure sharing of its fibre network with competitors.
  • Smart phone penetration is relatively low in Iran compared to other markets.
  • Iran is implementing its 6th Development Plan during 2016 – 2021.
  • The broadband operator, Iranian-net, is deploying a national fibre network.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

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

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