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Elecomp 2016: Iran Tech Show Holds Promise

The latest technology was on show at this year’s Elecomp along with some surprises
Hundreds of exhibitors attended this year’s event in Tehran. Hundreds of exhibitors attended this year’s event in Tehran.
A new voting system was showcased that can radically transform the election process

The 22nd round of the International Exhibition of Electronics, Computer and E-Commerce (Elecomp 2016) was held this week by the Iranian ICT Guild Organization (IIG) at Tehran’s International Permanent Fairgrounds.

According to the organizers 366 domestic businesses, 86 foreign firms from 18 countries participated. In addition 250 local internet startups showcased their services during the four-day event. 

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The biggest foreign delegations included a Malaysian delegation which had the most notable presence. Chinese, South Korean and Taiwanese companies also had an impressive presence.

Ministerial Support

The government too had a significant presence displaying its achievements in e-governance and the National Information Network (NIN) – a new local and secure network for use solely inside Iran.

Mahmoud Vaezi, the minister of communication and information technology, Sorena Sattari, vice president for science and technology and Nasser Ali Saadat, head of the Iranian ICT Guild Organization inaugurated this year's event.

Sattari addressed the growth of knowledge-based companies in Iran and said these companies trade value will surpass $7.5 billion by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2017. He put their present worth at $5 billion.

“According to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) reports Iran has progressed vastly in three areas of science, research and innovation [over the past year].”

“The UNCTAD report says Iran has more than 2,700 active knowledge-based companies with turnover between $750 million to $1.2 billion,” the vice president said as reported by a press release.

Considering that there are 1,000 plus knowledge startups active in Iran, the number of knowledge based companies will surpass 3,000 by the next year.

Vaezi said the National Information Network (NIN) was the highlight of the exhibition. Providing data on NIN’s growth, he said, “The national networks' capacity has jumped 84.4% and is 4,000Gbs.” This number is set to reach 10,000Gbs by 2017.

The minister told exhibitors that 6 trillion rials ($153 million) from the annual income of the Telecommunication Infrastructure Company of Iran will be allocated to launch MIN's final phase and expand content providing services and development of indigenous applications.

“ICT’s market volume has doubled during the last three years and is expected to reach 1200 billion rials ($33 million) by the end of the next economic development plan (2016-2021).”

e-Voting

During the event a new voting system was showcased which can radically transform how elections are held in the Islamic Republic.

Alireza Barati, in charge of e-governance and information technology affiliated to the Ministry of Interior said with the new system, once polling is completed at a station using the electronic voting device, the results can be sent to the polling headquarters within an hour.

Over the past year e-voting devices have been updated with improvements, the official said, adding that the main advantages of such devices are higher levels of accuracy, reliability and speed, CITNA reported.

According to the official, electronic voting was first piloted in Iran's 2012 parliamentary elections at fourteen stations. The results were verified by the Guardian Council—the body which oversees elections and vets candidates in Iran.

Negotiations are underway with the Guardian Council to use the devices in future elections. With the approval of the council it is likely that the devices will be used in the next presidential elections in May 2017, he said.

According to the official there are currently only enough devices to collect the ballots of 30% of the voting population. He hoped that in the next presidential elections the entire process would be conducted using digital devices.  

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Industry Players

Saman Electronic Payment Co showcased its latest payment method for mobile applications. Launching the 'Seppay', Farid Setareh, the company's head of R&D spoke briefly about in-app purchases. 

In-app purchases are purchases made from within a mobile application. Users typically make an in-app purchase in order to access special content or features in an app.  

The purchasing process is completed directly within the app, eliminating the need to refer to an alternative portal for completing the transaction, Seppay also takes a commission for facilitating each transaction.

Online payments have become a major issue for mobile phone users as the current method requires users to repeatedly type in their card details to websites. This new method is likely to speed up the process of spending  money digitally.

 

CeBIT in the House

Talks were underway at Iran’s Elecomp for cooperating with Germany’s CeBIT, the global event for digital business held every year in Hannover.

“CeBit and Elecomp are two events of similar nature and features representing a large spectrum of technologies and IT services, and there are grounds for mutual cooperation,” said Martina Lübon, the executive director of CeBIT.

“We decided to take the first step in that direction by setting up our booth at Elecomp 2016 and registered Iran's National ICT Guild Organization at CeBit 2017 to update one another on the events as well as provide an opportunity for industrialists and players in the field to get familiar with the abilities and potentials in both countries,” she added.

There is great potential in Iran and the large educated population promises a bright future in science and technology, she was quoted as telling the hosts.

 

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