Economy, Sci & Tech

Internet Tariffs to Tumble, Phone Charges to Climb

Internet Tariffs to Tumble, Phone Charges to Climb
Internet Tariffs to Tumble, Phone Charges to Climb

Internet prices are expected to drop, following the latest enactments passed by Iran’s Communications Regulatory Authority Committee.

Headed by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi, the committee also confirmed previous reports that landline telephone tariffs will increase, Mehr News Agency reported.   

The committee ruled that the Telecommunications Infrastructure Company will have to reduce the price of Internet bandwidth sold to Internet service providers. These companies will also have to reduce the price of Internet sold to end-users.

The committee has also decided on new tariffs for mobile Internet and details in this regard will be notified later.

On previous occasions, Vaezi had projected that Internet tariffs will reduce by up to 15% and landline telephone tariffs would increase fivefold their current rates, but this time he did not give any figures.

 National Network

Last week, the CEOs of major Iranian Internet businesses, namely Internet service providers RighTel, Shatel and Asiatech as well as local video and television streaming services Aparat, Filimo and Telewebion clubbed together to demand that per megabyte costs were reduced, ISNA reported.

The agreement, signed in the presence of Deputy Telecoms Minister Mohammad Javad Jahromi, called for a decrease of Internet tariffs, specifically for local services.

The official noted that tariffs for the use of local services such as Aparat and Filimo will drop by almost 50%, giving the company an unprecedented lead over its rivals.

“We hope to see more local services joining this plan. Other sectors for which Internet tariffs can decrease include the national banking system, the country’s tax system, scientific centers and governmental websites,” he said.  

Jahromi, who is also the CEO of Telecommunications Infrastructure Company, noted that what will distinguish the establishment of a data exchange center for the national information network apart from the international Internet network is the price difference.

He added that the price difference will allow users to tangibly feel the difference between the local network as opposed to the international.

Noting that the development of the national information network has been subject to criticism, the official said the development of the network has inevitably been through rough patches.

“The the development of 3G and 4G Internet, fiber-optic network and the investment of 20 trillion rials ($572 million) in this area have prepared the ground for developing the local network,” he said.

“One of the most important goals is to produce local content and the launch of the national network will advance this goal.”

Jahromi stressed that the expansion of national network is not a restriction but in fact the development of local technology.