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EghtesadOnline: Major landline service provider Telecommunication Company of Iran is planning to invest 38 trillion rials ($904.760 million) in the expansion of its Fiber to the X (FTTX) network during the current fiscal which started in March.

Head of the company Majid Sadri disclosed to the public the news about the investment on May 22 when members of the Majlis Industries and Mines Commission paid a visit to TCI’s operations center.

The project will enhance public access to communications and increase the average Internet speed, the firm’s public relations office reported.

Sadri said the company hopes to increase FTTX subscribers up to two million users by the year end, Financial Tribune reported.

Fiber to the X or fiber in the loop is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to provide all or part of the local loop used for the final leg of the telecommunications networks that deliver services to end users.

 Slew of Plans                               

The FFTX network is only one among a host of projects the TCI is to undertake in the coming months.

Sadri said the company is set to increase the pace of registering landline telephony subscriptions, develop infrastructure and establish data centers. In many urban areas, users have complained that registering a landline subscription has become overly time-consuming.

Moreover, the firm is to offer Internet bundles and packages so as to increase users’ access to high-speed communication services and curb costs. The company plans to secure a bigger share of the market through the scheme.

Furthermore, the company’s billing system is to be overhauled and replaced with electronic billing from the old-school paper-based system. Instead of issuing paper bills, TCI will send subscribers text messages. Users will receive a 24-hour free call gift if they pay the bill online within one day after receiving the text message.

The company is also set to utilize enterprise resource planning (ERP) to integrate various functions into one complete system to streamline processes and information across the entire organization.

According to Sadri, TCI aims to provide support to startups and knowledge-based companies in their early stages. The precedent for TCI’s help to such businesses was the establishment of a startup accelerator, dubbed “Shama”, in 2017, to mentor and educate innovators and help organize a public pitch event or demo for them.

In addition, the company’s director said a part of the company’s resources will be dedicated to assisting local content developers, to extend their cut in the company’s revenues and help create more jobs in the sector.

 Past Achievements

Sadri mentioned the inauguration of TCI’s Network Operations Center (NOC) as a means to centralize the network’s management and monitor its function and efficiency.

A network operations center (NOC, pronounced like the word knock), also known as a network management center, is one or more locations from which network monitoring and control is exercised over telecom networks.

Funded with 200 billion rials ($4.7 million), the center’s establishment is a first in Iran, leading to improved network quality and optimized supervision.

Sadri outlined TCI’s last year achievements including the establishment of four content delivery networks (CDN), increasing the national IP network capacity by 3.5 times, expanding the variety of services offered by the company and extending cooperation with the Communication Regulatory Authority to implement directives.

Moreover, the value-added services (VAS) offered by the company have observed a boom, increasing the share of VAS in TCI’s total turnover. Sadri did not elaborate on the matter.

 Other Players 

The TCI is not the only firm investing in FFTX to raise the speed of services offered to customers. The state-backed landline operator Iranian Net Communication and Electronic Services invested 580 billion rials ($13.8 million), for the first phase of a similar scheme in Karaj, Alborz Province, west of Tehran.

Under the project, the company will undertake the installation of 200 km of fiber optic cables in Karaj and eventually offer services to over 132,000 users through the network.

The Telecommunication Infrastructure Company is also on a fast-track to expand the fiber optic network in several cities across the country. The company says they have 65,000 km of fiber optic cables nationwide.

TIC has launched a project named Noor2 (Noor means light in Persian) through which 12,000 km of fiber optic cables will be laid in Iran. Some seven trillion rials ($166 million) have been invested in the project.

Hamideh Zarabadi, one of the parliament members visiting the company’s operations center, talked to reporters outlining the importance of expanding the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.

She linked the expansion of telecommunications to national development and said the parliament is enacting laws to support the firms active in the field and their endeavors. 

The lawmaker stressed the need to provide fixed landline telephony services in villages and enhance quality and speed of services offered to customers living in underdeveloped areas.

 

TCI Telecommunication Company of Iran Iran fiber optic network FTTX