EghtesadOnline: The ICT Ministry has released the annual indexes of the country’s telecoms sector, which showcase the pervasive nature of technological advancements and the success of President Hassan Rouhani’s policies to enhance Iranians’ access to modern modes of communications.
In the year ending in March, the total capacity of Iran’s national IP network reached 6,968 gigabits per second, up 2.47% from the year before.
It is worth mentioning that in the past eight years, the total capacity of the IP network has experienced an astounding 21,811% growth, from 31.8 gigabits per second to the current 6,968, according to Financial Tribune.
The country’s international Internet bandwidth also saw a startling development in the past ten years from 6.05 gigabits per second to 1,500 in March, a 24,693% rise.
The number of people with access to mobile Internet services ran up to 53,244,454, manifesting a staggering 60.15% growth rate compared to the year before last and a penetration rate of 110%. In March 2017, mobile Internet penetration rate stood at 104%.
The number of SIM cards sold by Iranian mobile operators was 169 million as of March, 88 million of which are currently active, meaning roughly 80 million inactive SIM cards can be found in the country.
From another perspective, the numbers show a 9.8% increase in the number of SIMs sold and a 6.4% rise in active mobile phone subscriptions year on year.
The number of households with access to landline Internet services amounted to 11,722,702, meaning that the number of people using ADSL or the country’s growing fiber-optic network to access the World Wide Web has experienced a 24.6% YoY hike.
Coming as no surprise, active landline phone subscriptions have experienced almost no change in comparison with the year before, testifying to its outdated function.
According to the statistics, the number of active landline phone subscriptions as of March 2018 amounts to 30,944,169 and a 38.71% penetration rate. The subscribers have increased by an infinitesimal 1.4% compared to the year before.
The coin-operated and telephone card public phones have seen a downward trend as the number of installed units have dwindled.
During the previous year, 107,417 payphones were active nationwide, down 7.7% from a year earlier when 115,764 of which were operational throughout the country.
The downward trend can easily be explained by the significant decline in public interest in the service since most Iranians have a mobile phone and using a personal handset is significantly more convenient.
The report demonstrates an uneven distribution of growth in various fields, from a rapidly developing urban life to a slow-moving supply of communications facilities for villagers.
Villages with access to landline telephony services total 49,240 as of March 2018, exposing the sluggish process of equipping villages with landline services. Last year, merely 200 villages were added to the villages with landline phones.
Recently, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi announced a program that is to establish communications networks for villages containing over 20 households across the country.
The budget devoted to the project totals three trillion rials ($72.4 million), and currently, 26,000 villages have access to Internet services in Iran.
Communications technologies came to the fore when Hassan Rouhani was elected as president and ratified policies to catapult Iran’s aging communications sector to an ever-expanding business creating jobs for thousands of people. Last month, the president announced the flourishing sector has created 200,000 jobs.