Iran’s Private Saman Bank Entering Mobile Business
Saman Bank through one of its new subsidiaries, Kish Cell Pars, is set to offer Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services and sell SIM cards.
Kish Cell Pars will offer Full MVNO services under a new brand name SamanTel, ICTNA reported at the weekend.
The new operator will use one of the country's three traditional mobile operators; MTN-Irancell, RighTel or MCI to host its service.
Saman bank is one of the first private banks in Iran. Founded in 2002, it has been at the forefront of modernizing the banking industry. The shift into the telecoms business is the first time the bank has moved out of its traditional financial industry.
The company will also offer IPTV services, online and NFC payment services, messaging and voice calls.
SamanTel's IPTV service, is the second such service introduced in the past three months. The new online TV service will host several Video on Demand (VOD) channels for users to watch movies and serials. It is currently not known if the operator will also offer programs broadcast by the statee-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
The official website of the company says SamanTel SIM cards will available at the upcoming edition of Iran’s International Exhibition of Electronics, Computer and E-Commerce (ELECOMP) July 21-24 in Tehran.
The company will also offer NFC (Near Field Communication) payment service through its SIM cards. NFC method makes transactions easier by holding two electronic devices 10 cm apart.
Several other companies like Iran's largest Internet service provider Shatel Group are also set to offer MVNO services in the coming months.
Iran's Communications Regulatory Authority granted 24 firms MVNO licenses last September. Of the original 51 firms who had applied for permission to run virtual mobile networks, 27 were found unfit or not having sufficient financial means to offer the service for more than twelve months.
An MVNO is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the mobile network infrastructure over which it provides services to customers but buys the necessary service from network operators.
On March 8, GMI Insights, a global telecoms research firm, estimated MVNOs will have a market share worth of $85 billion by 2022 in part due to the growth of smartphones and 4G Internet rollout across several regional markets.
Rising penetration of mobile network subscribers across the globe is anticipated to drive the MVNO market growth over the forecast period.
Considerable funding by mobile network operators to advance the telecom infrastructure is likely to have a positive impact on the MVNO market size.