Sci & Tech

Internet Speed to Increase

Internet Speed to IncreaseInternet Speed to Increase

Iran is about to give its Internet users better speed, as it boosts capacity with the help of a northern neighbor.

Barat Qanbari, deputy minister for communications and information technology, said the ministry is currently working on a broadband development plan to increase average Internet speed for each user to up to 20 megabits per second in five years, Mehr News Agency reported.

Speaking at a ceremony for signing the memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan’s Telecommunications Company, Qanbari added that $15 billion would be invested in the communications sector in the next five years and half of the fund will be allocated to the Telecommunications Company of Iran.

“Communications in rural areas of Iran are provided by USO and the government, and we have started working on the development of rural Internet with LTE,” he said.

USO is the universal service obligation placed on providers to ensure that standard telephone services, payphones and prescribed carriage services are reasonably accessible to all people on an equitable basis, wherever they reside or carry on business.

Long-Term Evolution, commonly marketed as 4G LTE, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.

Qanbari noted that the “transition to 4G LTE in the country's telecom network is a highly serious matter, and will be one area of cooperation with Kazakhstan”.

One such USO scheme has been initiated whereby residents of rural areas in West Azarbaijan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Isfahan, Gilan and Ardabil provinces are able to apply for the service.

As part of the possible deal, Kazakhstan will link up to Iran via land or undersea cables passing across Caspian Sea.

"We fully welcome direct connection to Kazakhstan or through the Caspian Sea in LTE cooperation, as well as in other areas of cooperation such as ISP centers", Qanbari added.

“Our biggest concern is the export of technical and engineering services to other countries. Iran is the fifth top country in training engineers and many engineers in Europe and the US are from Iran.”

Iran has made concerted efforts in recent months to upgrade its mobile phone networks with new technologies.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the government has granted 20 licenses to new companies for entering the local 4G LTE market on a Mobile Virtual Network Operator basis.

It is not known whether any countries from among the Commonwealth of Independent States will join hands, though West and East Asian companies have reportedly shown interest in operating in this market.