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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Communications Regulatory Authority has released the results of a survey on users’ opinion about major local landline and broadband wireless services (WiMax).

During a survey conducted between March 21 and Sept. 22, hundreds of internet users were questioned about the quality of services, CRA reported on its website.

Users were questioned about the general quality of services, speed, costs and after-sales services. Based on users’ opinion, Shatel, Sabanet and Datak were respectively hailed as the best Iranian landline internet service providers.

Based on the aforementioned criteria and users’ input, ISPs can receive up to 20 scores from CRA. This was the fifth time that CRA conducted such a survey and says more will be undertaken, according to Financial Tribune.

Privately-owned ISP Shatel scored 15.99 in the survey, closely followed by Sabanet with 15.32 and Datak 14.8.

According to the report, the state-owned Telecommunications Company of Iran fared poorly in the survey and earned 10.92 points out of 20—the lowest score among major landline ISPs.

Such public surveys are expected to help create more transparency in the domestic internet service providing sector and boost competitiveness among the ISPs.

In addition to landline internet, WiMAX are offered by two companies, namely MTN-Irancell and Mobinnet. In CRA’s survey, Irancell and Mobinnet WiMAX subscribers were questioned about satisfaction with the services. Mobinnet scored 11.67 in the survey while Irancell received 13.44.

For participating in the surveys, users should create an account on CRA’s website. On the survey’s signup page, after entering a phone number, users are required to name the ISP they subscribe to. After they do so, they receive an authentication text message.

To encourage users to participate in the surveys, CRA offers gifts to participants. Gifts include tablets, mobile phones, external hard disks, smartwatches and modems.



Communication Overview

Iran’s total population is estimated to be 82.4 million, with almost 75% living in urban areas. The country reportedly has 72.94 million internet users and internet penetration is said to be 89%. 

A report titled Global Digital 2019—released by Canadian social media management platform Hootsuite and UK-based marketing and advertising agency We Are Social—provides further insight about internet usage in Iran.

The number of Iranian internet users shot up by 29% in 2018. In other words, 16 million people got connected to the web for the first time during the year.

An estimated 123.7 million SIM cards have been sold in the country. The number of active mobile SIMs has registered a 3 million (2.4%) YOY increase.

The average mobile internet speed was 30.58 Mbps in 2018, 75% higher than a year earlier while average fixed internet speed was 12.82 Mbps, indicating a 36% YOY increase.

Close to 74% of mobile subscribers use prepaid services and 26% are post-paid. Over 59% of the mobile SIMs support broadband internet (3G and/or 4G). 

In 2018, the number of Iranians using social media platforms reached 47 million, marking an 18% year-on-year increase.

There are close to 47 million active social media users in Iran, or 57% of the population.

Over seven million Iranians joined a social media network for the first time in 2018. In other words, an estimated 19,178 people started using social media for the first time every day in the past year in Iran—that is more than 13 new users every minute.

The growth rate had declined compared to 2017 when the number of Iranian social media users observed a 135% YOY jump.

More than 3.4 billion people around the world now use social media platforms, indicating a 288 million (9%) increase compared to January of last year, more than nine new users every second. 

The global growth rate has also declined compared to 2017 when social media platforms got more than 11 new users every second.



Different Platforms

Despite being banned in Iran, the messaging app Telegram, which through its channels and groups can be employed as a social media network, is the most popular platform in Iran with over 40 million users. Almost half of the population uses the service.

The second most popular social media platform in Iran is the photo-sharing service Instagram. There are 24 million Instagram users in the country, or 29% of the population. Close to 45% of Instagram users in Iran are women and 55% men.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook is less popular in Iran, partly because it has been blocked by the authorities for almost eight years. However, there are still 5.7 million Facebook users (via VPN), of which 35% are women and 65% men. 

Moreover, 91% of Facebook users in Iran access the platform via their smart handsets. There are 2.17 billion active Facebook users in the world.

Various local social media platforms have been established with state support over the past one year. However, failing to earn internet users’ trust, the platforms have not been able to gain traction. Some of the services are Soroush, Rubika and iGap.


Survey Iran wireless services Users WiMax ISPs Ranked landline broadband