Economy, Sci & Tech

72m SIM Cards Active in Iran

72m SIM Cards Active in Iran
72m SIM Cards Active in Iran

According to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, 72 million SIM cards are active in Iran, indicating a mobile technology penetration rate of 92.09%.

The data have been released by the Bureau of Technical and Economic Investigation, affiliated to the ministry's deputy for planning and supervision, Mehr News Agency reported.

By September 22, 2015, 144,199,306 mobile phone numbers were sold, though only 72,860,030 are used actively.

Of the three mobile phone operators in Iran, Hamrah-e Avval (or Mobile Telecommunications of Iran, aka MCI) has the largest share of the market with 41,291,081 users actively using the company's SIM cards.

MCI's penetration rate in the country is 53%. It has the highest penetration rate in the cities of Tehran and Yazd, and the lowest in Sistan-Baluchestan and North Khorasan Provinces.  

For the same period, the penetration rate of Iran's second largest operator, Irancell, was reported to be 95% with 28,922,080 active SIM cards.

Irancell SIM cards are used the most in the provinces of Alborz and Yazd. Irancell has reportedly sold the most number of SIM cards during the period, but MCI ranks first in terms of penetration rate.

The penetration rate for RighTel, the country's third biggest mobile phone operator, was reported to be 2.29% with only 1,802,869 active SIM cards. RighTel is most popular in Tehran, while it is least popular in the provinces of Ardabil and Ilam.

Established much later than MCI and Irancell, RighTel has been pushing to gain a foothold in the market.   

The data reveal that mobile phone penetration rates have not increased dramatically compared with the same period of last year, confirming that the mobile phone market is reaching a point of saturation.

MCI, Irancell and RighTel each had a 57%, 40% and 3% share of Iran's mobile phone market respectively during the period.