EghtesadOnline: As of Thursday, an unidentified entity deploying jammers has disrupted GPS services in Tehran, a deputy ICT minister says.
Hossein Fallah, who also serves as director of Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran, added that recent disruptions in GPS services have been caused by “deliberate acts” of an unnamed entity.
“This is not the first time that such disruptions in services have been detected. Despite the repeated disavowals of security agencies and even Iran's Supreme National Security Council against the use of GPS jammers, such disruptions have continued,” he told IRNA.
According to the official, CRA is set to file a complaint with the judiciary against those who are causing these disruptions, Financial Tribune reported.
“Extensive disruptions in GPS services have been reported since Thursday, which have taken a toll on air navigation systems,” he said.
Fallah noted that the deployment of GPS jammers has disrupted Internet services based on Time Division-LTE in Tehran. TD-LTE is one of the standards of 4G LTE technology.
“In addition to threatening the safety of air travelers, the disruption of communications network has also angered Internet users,” he said.
“The source of disruptions has been identified by CRA and introduced to authorities. They are yet to take action on the information.”
Three Internet service providers—Zitel, Mobinnet and Irancell—reported disruptions in their TD-LTE network, which have caused outages and a noticeable decline in Internet speed.
Last year, a similar issue was reported by companies and Internet users in Tehran. At the time, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said a comprehensive report on the issue was delivered to related authorities. He also said that a complaint had been filed with the judiciary. Neither the report nor the judiciary’s take on the matter was disclosed publicly.
The recent disruptions are certain to harm online businesses in Tehran. Most startups offer location-based services. For instance, for hailing a ride, online taxi firms need to link up drivers with customers, the locations of whom are picked up by GPS.
The same applies to other online businesses, from food to package delivery.
In recent years, Iran e-commerce sector has observed a significant boom and in major cities, especially Tehran, thousands of people rely on online platforms for their daily routines. Disruptions of these services will certainly cause a great deal of inconvenience.
In the sprawling capital, almost all drivers depend on navigations apps to evade traffic jams. No GPS equals no navigation service. This is certain to deteriorate traffic congestion and exacerbate air pollution in Tehran.