Economy, Sci & Tech

MVNO Services on Agenda

MVNO Services on Agenda
MVNO Services on Agenda

By the end of the second half of the current Iranian year (started March 20), Mobile Virtual Network Operators will start work, said the deputy of Iran's Communications Regulatory Authority.

Sadeq Abbasi Shahkouh added that nearly 50 requests for MVNO were assessed and 10 were rejected, while companies that filed requests have been given deadlines to complete the prerequisites.

Shahkouh further said agreements have been reached with 10 companies that will have to sign contracts with either of the three major operators working in Iran, Mehr News Agency reported.

Final working permits will be issued by July 2016.

Iran's three major operators are Hamrah-e-Aval or Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran, MTN-Irancell and RighTel.

An MVNO is a cellphone carrier that does not have its own network infrastructure and licensed radio spectrum. Instead, a smaller MVNO has a business relationship with a larger mobile network operator.

The operator pays wholesale fees for minutes and then sells the minutes at retail prices under its own brand. Prices are typically set following agreed-upon rates with the contracted network operator.

Pointing to programs underway for communication operators this year, Shahkouh added that new licenses for 11 fixed communication operators have also been issued. Another seven operators have been given deadlines and can receive the license if they manage to meet the needed conditions during this time.

The official noted that aside from MVNO and FCP services, major projects to be completed this year in the realm of telecoms include the extension of Mobile Number Portability services.  

Earlier in April, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi had said the MNP project will be launched by June 20.

"The project will allow users to switch between operators without having to change their numbers and is aimed at improving the quality of services and increasing customer satisfaction," he said.

Vaezi noted that the project is expected to promote competition among Iran's three major mobile operators, while improving the quality and reducing the cost of mobile services.