Sci & Tech

No Gold Phone Number Policy

No Gold Phone Number Policy
No Gold Phone Number Policy

The CEO of Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI), the country's sole operator of landlines and majority owner of Mobile Company of Iran (MCI), has announced that it is not in charge of distributing premium gold mobile numbers, ISNA reported on Monday.

Kazem Ebrahimi said there is no official pricing structure for the sale of "gold numbers" and resellers are free to charge what they deem fit.   

TCI also announced that it has stopped the distribution of gold mobile and landline numbers by public auction.

However rumors within the industry have it that the sole authority on phone number creation is actually selling them through affiliate companies, which dictate their preferred prices in the market.  

However, as Ebrahimi explained, mobile phone gold number applicants can visit and enter a private bidding event to buy the numbers. Applicants for gold landline phone numbers must now wait for a newly-formed commission to be created to decide about the future prices and when to hold auctions, he added

After the auction and distributing the gold numbers, TCI cannot be in charge of their prices and what takes place in the market later on, he underscored.  

Iran’s gold phone number industry, like many around the world, has become deregulated over the past decade.

Iran now ranks as one of the countries where a mobile phone number can make all difference when a person is in trade, and with that, the industry has become one of the highest earning, least intensive ways to make big profits.

In December last year, the most expensive number available on a local gold number website was 09121111*11. That number came in at a staggering 6.9 billion rials ($202,000 at the time).

A local number dealer said the majority of his “platinum” numbers – those over $100,000 - were not sold to individuals. However, he said, “They are often bought by large companies and organizations that want to beat their rivals by presenting their professional number.”

Many people use the numbers as a sort of alternative investment, as opposed to buying more traditional investments like gold, antiques or paintings.