Economy, Business And Markets

Ericsson ‘in Talks’ With RighTel

Ericsson ‘in Talks’ With RighTel  Ericsson ‘in Talks’ With RighTel

Ericsson is reportedly in negotiation to partner with the first Iranian 3G operator RighTel, a source familiar with the talks said.

Ericsson, a world leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators in more than 180 countries, has offered to buy 49 percent of RighTel share provided that all ZTE equipment and solutions are replaced by those of Ericsson, the source who didn’t want to be identified told the Financial Tribune.

Ericsson’s office in Tehran refused to comment on the matter and asked for an “official written request” for information.

RighTel’s public relations office also expressed ignorance over the negotiations when contacted by the Tribune.

This is not the first time foreign telecom companies have approached RighTel. In early 2014, KT Corporation also known as KT and Orange of France reportedly offered to partner with the Iranian operator, the offers RighTel refused.

According to the source, the migration from ZTE to Ericsson is estimated to last a month or more, with constant network breakdown that may frustrate its avid young fans that have finally started to find confidence in RighTel after a long and tedious spell of network expansion which was hampered by international sanctions against Iran and the economic downturn between 2011 and 2013.  

RighTel’s share of the Iranian telecom market is difficult to estimate as the company does not release any subscriber figures. However, sources inside the company estimate the total number of SIM cards so far sold at 7 million, with only 2 million active users.

In its latest forecast for Q115, Business Monitor International considered that the outlook for Iran’s nascent 3G market offers upside potential to growth, but RighTel’s limited network coverage and services portfolio has weighed on its ability to take advantage of a three-year exclusivity period in Iran’s 3G market that ended in September 2014.

Iran’s third mobile-phone operator provided Iranians with their first ever 3G Internet services, allowing customers to use both video-call and multi-media messaging functions.

BMI expects the entry of Iran’s larger mobile operators MTN Irancell and MCI into the 3G market in the second half of 2014 to catalyze take-up of advanced mobile data services in the country.