Sci & Tech

Mobile Operators Offering Youth SIM Cards

Mobile Operators Offering Youth SIM Cards
Mobile Operators Offering Youth SIM Cards

Nearly six months have passed since all three mobile phone operators started offering 3G services across the nation. The parliament's communication regulation committee, however, has banned its use for children and teenagers below 18 years, Digiato reported.

A guideline for the use of third and fourth generations of mobile telecommunications technology was devised and submitted to the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Sadegh Abbasi Shahkoo, a deputy at the Communication Regulations Authority (CRA) said.

Iran's three major mobile phone operators, Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (Hamrah-e-Aval or MCI), MTN-Irancell, and Rightel, were legally forbidden from selling regular SIM cards to the users below 18 years of age. Instead, they were obliged to provide exclusive SIM cards for children and teenagers.

According to CRA's spokesperson, Jahangir Asadi, "the main aim is to highlight the threats and benefits of using 3G services for kids."

"Operators must include educational packages with information on broadband usage and internet security," Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.

After the mobile operators were informed of the decision in December 2014, they were given a 6-month deadline to promote the new service prepare the SIM cards. To this day, all three telephone operators have beaten the deadline which finishes in May.  


Rightel, the third mobile phone operator, was the first to release a special SIM for children in March.

Users can access a range of cartoons on Rightel's website, the Iranian substitute for YouTube, 'Aparat', and the Iranian cartoon TV channel 'Pooya TV'. For educational games, they can flip through 'Nabaat', an exclusive monthly magazine for children.

Rightel has released a statement on its website announcing that it will soon add more educational features as well as a call feature that will allow parents and children to contact each other.


On April 30, MCI revealed a SIM card exclusively for children. 'Dorsa' package offered by MCI includes a SIM card and a hardware device (tablet or smartphone) that does not connect to Wi-Fi.

Using Dorsa, children can watch Islamic Republic of Iran's TV programs, play video games, and download apps on Cafe Bazaar (the largest Persian Android application store). The data-only SIM also has a feature that allows parents to fully monitor their children's mobile use.  To complete the package, MCI will soon be adding a modem as well as Wi-Fi compatibility options. The package is not yet publicly available.


Irancell, the second largest network, was the last of the three operators to release special services for youth.

While Rightel and MCI offered separate SIM cards, Irancell has introduced a service that enables users to repurpose any of the company's regular SIM cards for exclusive youth usage.   The service, released last week, is free of charge and can be enabled using a code.

Call and text messaging services are not limited. Accessible content on the internet, however, is restricted to a list of children's websites with a focus on educational and recreational activities.  

Parents will be able to monitor and ration their children's use of internet, or disable the internet option altogether after 10 PM.  

The youth service can be disabled by typing in a code. This means that when the youngsters grow up they wouldn't have to change their numbers and can continue using the same SIM with full features unlocked.

The SIM card services have been warmly received by parents; however, some people have suggested that teenagers' knowledge of using mobile handsets vastly outweighs their parents, thus children may be able to get around the restrictions placed upon them by using other connection methods like Wi-Fi.