Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran Launches 6th Internet Hub in Khuzestan Province

The southern city of Ahvaz got a boost with the establishment of the local Internet exchange center.
Iran Launches 6th Internet Hub in Khuzestan Province
Iran Launches 6th Internet Hub in Khuzestan Province
Iraqis will be able to connect to the World Wide Web via the Ahvaz exchange

Iran has launched a new telecommunications center in the southern city of Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province with an initial investment of 67 billion rials ($1.8 million).

According to local technology website CITNA, the center will operate as a national Internet Exchange Point (IXP) and offer international Internet transit services to neighboring countries.

The center was inaugurated in a ceremony on May 25 attended by Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi, and the CEO of Telecommunications Infrastructure Company of Iran, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi.

During the ceremony, several IT-related projects were launched in the southern oil province with a total investment of 2.06 trillion rials ($55 million).

Vaezi said, “Over the past years 9.5 trillion rials ($255 million) has been invested in the sector in Khuzestan by mobile operators as well as Iran Information Technology Organization and Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of Iran.”

Internet Exchange Point

An IXP is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks.

The new center is Iran’s sixth IXP with five located in Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Shiraz and Qom. Another exchange point is set to be launched in the upcoming months in the central tourist city of Isfahan.

Ahvaz Telecom Center

The Ahvaz IXP will significantly reduce the average per-bit delivery cost of Internet services in the area. 

Moreover, one of the noticeable advantages of having more exchange points is speed. The change will be conspicuous in areas that have poor long-distance telecoms connections.

With the fall in Internet service prices after the launch of the previous five IXPs, Iranian online content providers saw a boost in their total income. Furthermore, access to more stable and faster Internet connections has increased the demand for online services.

Serving the Iraqi Market

In addition to being used as an IXP, the center is set to operate as an international Internet transit hub offering services to Iran’s western neighbor Iraq.

It will enable Iraqis to connect to the World Wide Web using Iran’s communications infrastructure.

Additionally, they will have easier access to online services offered by Iranian firms dealing with the neighboring countries.

The distance between Iraq's southern port city of Basra from and the provincial capital Ahvaz is 168 km.

Arvand FTZ Smart City

Vaezi said at the event that the first phase of Arvand Free Trade Zone Smart City project has been launched.

Arvand FTZ with an area of 37,400 hectares is at the confluence of Karun and Arvand Rivers, near the Iran-Iraq border.

A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and ICT solutions to manage a city’s assets.

The city’s assets include—but are not limited to—schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement and other community services.

Earlier on March 30, President Hassan Rouhani launched Iran’s first smart city at Anzali Free Trade-Industrial Zone near the Caspian Sea.

Provincial ITC Sector

The minister also provided statistics about the provincial ICT sector. Since 2013, Khuzestan’s communication network has grown 5.5 times and its bandwidth has increased 700%, he said. 

Mobile operators now offer 4G Internet services in 71 cities and towns in Khuzestan and are poised to expand services to the remaining five cities in the oil province.

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