Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran's SamanTel Announces MVNO Prices

MVNO SamanTel launches pricing structure for calls, SMS, Internet.MVNO SamanTel launches pricing structure for calls, SMS, Internet.

New Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) SamanTel has launched its pricing structure for calls, SMS and Internet as part of a push to become one of the first virtual operators to establish its services.

SamanTel, owned by Iran’s privately owned Saman Bank, offers a ‘full’ MVNO service, meaning it also offers regular telephone calls as well as Internet.

According to local technology website ICTNA, SamanTel will offer telephone calls from postpaid SIM cards that will cost 599 rials, (around 1.5 US cents) while prepaid connections will cost 899 rials for calls within the network.

Meanwhile, calls to other mobile networks from contract SIMs will cost 625 rials per minute, while pay-as-you-go customers would have to pay 937 rials per minute to other networks.

SMS charges for Persian language texts will cost 99 rials for contract SIMS and 116 rials for prepaid.

Internet connections per megabyte by the firm will cost postpaid customers 400 rials, while prepaid customers would have to pay 600 rials, according to a press release from the firm.

An MVNO is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the mobile network infrastructure through which it provides services to customers but buys the necessary service from network operators.

The official website of the company says SamanTel SIM cards will be available at the upcoming Iran 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.

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.

Several other companies like Iran’s largest Internet service provider Shatel Group are also set to offer MVNO services in the coming months.

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) granted 24 firms MVNO licenses last September. Of the original 51 firms that 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 12 months.

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