EghtesadOnline: ICT infrastructure development projects worth 1.7 trillion rials ($15.5 million) were inaugurated in the northern provinces of Mazandaran and Gilan on Thursday.
During a visit to Noshahr city in Mazandaran on Wednesday, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi announced that 240 villages in these provinces have been connected to the National Information Network, the ministry's website reported.
NIN is an independent network whose content is compatible with Islamic values, one of the most important components of which is the availability of localized services.
“In an effort to improve rural mobile coverage, two major mobile operators Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran and MTN-Irancell have started sharing infrastructures in all the villages of Mazandaran,” Financial Tribune quoted the ICT minister as saying.
While both MCI and Irancell have antennas in most areas, their coverage does not overlap. This meant that only subscribers with one operator had access to services, which mostly happened in rural and underdeveloped areas.
"Advancement of wavelength division multiplexing optical network and fiber to the home network and setting up 146 communication towers are also among the projects launched in the province," he added.
Jahromi said the new projects will boost ICT services in the province, emphasizing that enhancing communications should be among the top priorities of local authorities.
Experts in the field say more efforts should go into filling the digital gap between the major cities and rural areas in Iran.