EghtesadOnline: The expansion of communication services and promotion of telecom infrastructure investment have been high on President Hassan Rouhani’s agenda since he took office for the first time in 2013.
Data released by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran show that the sector has observed significant growth over the past few years.
Internet penetration rate has reached 90.78% in the country. The mobile internet penetration rate is lower and stands at 78.14%. About two years ago, the rates stood at 53.53% and 41.72% respectively.
Iran has over 64 million mobile internet subscribers, in addition to the registration of 10.3 million landline internet subscriptions. The numbers are significantly higher compared to two years ago—33.2 million and 9.4 million respectively. The total number of internet subscriptions has reached 74.5 million, according to Financial Tribune.
The data show Iran's mobile communication network has grown fast over the past few years with the registration of 93 million mobile subscriptions. The number is significantly higher from 63 million registered five years ago.
The country’s mobile communications penetration rate has reached 113.34%.
CRA also reports that 86.65% of Iranian roads and highways have mobile coverage.
The country’s leading operator is Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran with a 59.29% share of the market or 55 million subscriptions. MCI is followed by MTN-Irancell with 36.45% and 33.9 million subscribers. RighTel has a 4.24% share and 3.9 million subscribers. There are other operators in Iran whose share in the market is lower than 1%.
Just like most countries across the world, landline communication is losing popularity in Iran. There are 29.5 million active landline telephone subscribers in Iran, slightly lower than 30.9 million a year earlier.
Landline telephony services have a 35.97% penetration rate in Iran.
Connecting villages to the country’s communication network has been high on the government’s agenda. Currently, 83.25% of villages or 51,555 have access to communication services.
CRA’s parent agency, Iran’s Information and Communications Technologies Ministry, is also in charge of regulating postal services. The regulator reports that annually 367.9 million packages are delivered by post in Iran.
Each Iranian sends and receives 4.48 packages annually. The numbers have declined significantly from five years ago when they respectively stood at 562 million and 7.31.
An earlier report by the International Telecommunications Union indicated that Iran is showing significant improvement in every aspect of the ICT sector.
ITU said Iran is “the most dynamic country” in terms of ICT development in Asia.
Over the past decade, there has been acceptable growth in the availability of communications in Iran, especially in the rapidly expanding urban areas, led by growth in mobile communications.
More recently, it introduced the third and fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technologies (3G and 4G).
According to Telecoms Ministry data, 96% of Iranian cities have access to 3G mobile Internet while 64% of the cities have 4G coverage.
Iran has 1,241 cities and a population of 83 million.