Sci & Tech

Changing ICT Landscape

Changing ICT Landscape
Changing ICT Landscape

A subdivision of Iran's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has recently released statistics related to its fields of activities.   

The stats published by the ministry's Bureau of Technical and Economic Inspection show there are more than 75 million active SIM cards in Iran, 19 million people use mobile Internet and 8.8 million people use ADSL Internet.

The ICT indicators have been assessed for 2007-15, Mehr News Agency reported.

The statistics mention the number of landlines sold and their penetration rates. It also clarifies the penetration rate of mobile phones.

The ministry has listed the number of public phone booths set up across the country and the number of villages that have home phones.  

The report says that by the end of the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2016), the number of landlines actively used in Iran was 30,262,157.   

The number of SIM cards sold during the same period was 149,875,366 while only 75,983,528 were actively used, which means almost half the SIM cards sold are not actively used.

By March 2008, landline penetration rate in Iran was 22.49%, which figure reached 38.5% by March 19, 2016.

By March 19, 2016, mobile phone penetration rate reached 94.46%, which figure was 29.5% in 2008. Also, the penetration rate for SIM card sales increased from 46% in 2008 to 190% by March 2016.

The data show that by March 2016, 48,000 villages had landlines and 8,443 ICT service centers were opened in remote areas.

As per the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16), the number of these centers should have reached 10,000 by 2016.

  Internet and Payphones

The number of broadband Internet subscribers by March 2016 was an estimated 8,825,105 users and 19,098,560 people were actively using mobile Internet.   

Iran's bandwidth capacity also increased from 6.05 Gbps in 2008 to 546 Gbps by March 2016. Iran's IP capacity has similarly increased from 31 Gbps in 2008 to 4,000 Gbps in 2016.

Furthermore, by March 2016, 139,729 public phones were set up in the country.

In June 2015, Alireza Seyyedi, CEO of Telecommunications Company of Iran, had announced that the maintenance cost of payphones is higher than the revenues they earn.

According to the official, it costs $10 per month to maintain a single payphone, while the revenues generated from each payphone was only $7, adding that the difference is expected to widen in future.

Davoud Zareian, spokesman of TCI, had also said that the country has 167,000 payphones, some of which might be utilized for different usage.  

While Reza Khalili, technical and engineering deputy of TCI, stated that nearly 2,000 payphones are taken off the streets each year, Zareian noted that TCI plans to preserve the phones to update their usage, such as creating WiFi hotspots. The latter, however, did not specify a schedule for implementing this plan.