Economy, Sci & Tech

Kish Hosts ITC 2016

Kish Hosts ITC 2016
Kish Hosts ITC 2016

The Iran Telecom Conference discussed future developments in the domestic communications and Internet industries on the Persian Gulf island of Kish on May 25.  

Although not well publicized, the one-day event, dubbed ITC 2016, had representatives from leading companies specialized in the fields of Mobile Virtual Network Operating as well as telecoms specialists.

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.

Panel discussions were held on current and future developments in the industry as well as the potentials of changes in the market with the introduction of new networks and services coming on stream in the next few months.

Foreign speakers were also at the event, including Chris Watson form CMS Communication, Mikeal Halen from Ericsson Communications, among others.

Local experts included Ali Asghar Amidian, deputy minister for ICT and head of regulatory issues, and Mahmoud Khosravi, an industry player.

The issue of smart cities was raised by Ismael Sanaei, CEO of local technology company Arya Hamrah, who discussed current developments in the field.

Other speeches on the day were given my Navid Mirmotahari of local Internet company HiWeb who focused on aspects of "emerging verticals in the Iranian telecoms market."

The event comes ahead of major shifts in the local telecoms industry, including MVNO developments and mobile number portability, a project to let consumers choose their network while keeping their existing number.

MVNOs are expected to become operational by the end of the second half of the current Iranian year (started March 20). Working permits will be issued by July 2016.

Iran's three major operators, namely Hamrah-e-Aval or Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran, MTN-Irancell and RighTel, will be offering the services to several new operators.

At least one foreign MVNO heavyweight, Lebara, was at the Kish event but made no statement about plans to enter the local market.