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Iran - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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HSPA launch adds to Iran’s burgeoning broadband market

Iran’s telecoms market is one of the largest in the Middle East given the size of its population. The fixed line market is the largest in the Middle East by subscriber lines yet is dominated by the incumbent operator, Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI).

Competition is more evident in the fixed broadband market, where competing ISPs offer ADSL2+, WiMAX and other fixed wireless broadband services. Demand has pushed fixed broadband subscriber growth rates to exponential levels. Strong continued growth is likely given current household broadband penetration compared with household PC penetration as well as the high ratio of Internet users compared with subscribers. In addition the governments fifth economic development plan calls for the establishment of a fibre-based national broadband network by 2016.

Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Iran has taken steps to develop a digital economy. Given the current state of Internet usage, a significant amount of effort has been invested in improving accessibility to ICT services with a focus on rural areas.

Competition has vastly improved Iran’s mobile market, which was previously characterised by the huge level of unmet demand. The recent launch of services by a third national operator will reinvigorate the mobile market by improving competition in what is essentially a duopoly and through the introduction of 3G/HSPA services.

With mobile penetration reaching levels indicative of saturation, mobile data and mobile broadband in particular, presents the next significant revenue growth opportunity for the mobile operators. This will be underpinned by the recent launch of HSPA services by the third national operator, with the two established national operators expected to eventually follow suit.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
Sector | 2010 | 2012

Subscribers to telecoms services (million):

Broadband | 1.0 | 3.0
Fixed-line telephony | 25.8 | 29.2
Mobile phone | 73.1 | 75.5
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Pishgaman Kavir Yazd Group, ParsOnline, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Mobile Communications Iran (MCI), MTN Irancell, Tamin Telecom (Rightel), Rafsanjan Industrial Complex (Taliya), Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE), Telecommunication Kish Company (TKC).

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Iran’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
Internet;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2020;


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Iran’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Privatisation of TCI
4.3 WiMAX licences
4.4 Regulatory authority
5. Fixed network operators in Iran
5.1 Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI)
5.2 Other licence holders/Zoha Kish
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 National Internet Network (NIN)
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine and terrestrial cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
7. Broadband access market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Censorship
7.1.2 Broadband and Internet statistics
7.1.3 ISP market
7.2 Broadband subscriber forecasts
7.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
7.4 Wireless (fixed) broadband
7.4.1 WiMAX
8. Digital economy
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 2009 Presidential elections and follow-up
8.2 Services
8.2.1 E-government
8.2.2 E-commerce
8.2.3 E-education
8.2.4 E-health
9. Digital broadcasting
9.1 Overview of broadcasting market
9.2 Satellite TV
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Iran’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Third Mobile licence – Tamin Telecom
10.2.2 Second GSM licence – Irancell
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Local handset manufacture
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 TCI/Mobile Communications Iran (MCI)
10.4.2 MTN Irancell
10.4.3 Tamin Telecom (Rightel)
10.4.4 Taliya/Rafsanjan Industrial Complex Islamic Cooperative Company (RIC)
10.4.5 Mobile Telecommunications Company of Isfahan (MTCE)
10.4.6 Telecommunications Kish Company (TKC)
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid
10.5.2 Satellite mobile
10.6 Mobile data
10.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
10.6.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.6.3 GPRS
10.6.4 Mobile broadband
10.7 Mobile content and applications
11. Related reports
List of Tables and Charts
Table 1 – Country statistics Iran – 2011
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2012
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2012
Table 4 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2012
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – GDP growth and inflation – 2005 - 2011
Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2012
Table 9 – Internet users and penetration estimates – 1996 - 2012
Table 10 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2000 – 2012
Table 11 – Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2012
Table 12 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2012, 2015; 2020
Table 13 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2012, 2015; 2020
Table 14 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1995 - 2012
Table 15 – MTN Irancell – Revenue and Expenses – 2009 – 2011
Table 16 – MTN Irancell – Subscribers, ARPU and MOU – 2006 – 2012
Table 17 – MTN Irancell SMS Revenue – 2009 - 2011
Chart 1 – Iran fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2012

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