There are three Major mobile phone network operators in Iran, namely: Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (MCI), MTN Irancell (Irancell) and Rightel. With the young population of Iran and its fast growing smartphone market, there is a fierce competition between these operators and the torrent of new services each day. So which company comes first when it comes to the market share? And most importantly how could we measure that when there is no transparency?
There are few services and TV shows (such as The 90 TV show and Iran’s subsidy system) that have a large audience and more importantly people are connected through their cellphones to these programs. Based on the stats of these programs we can come up with estimate market share of these companies.“ based on the stats of these programs, MCI’s penetration rate is more than 60% in Iran” said Sadoughi, CEO of MCI.
The data traffic of MCI’s mobile internet service increased from 2 TB per day in 2013 to 17 TB per day in 2014. “This data traffic became 230 TB per day and if we add 100 TB daily traffic of Mobinnet company it will gives us a total of 330 TB” told Vahid Sadoughi. “This reception of new generation of communication occurred in a time that we had a ten years delay penalty over the third mobile phone network operator (Rightel) and it’s monopoly over 3G Technology with the government. But in the last year in which we had the license of providing 3G and 4G services, we initiated 4400 3rd generation cell sites”.
MCI is planning to increase the number of 3rd generation cell sites to 8000 until the end of this year, “50% of our customers use smartphones which all of these phones support 3rd generation data communication but out of these 20 millions cellphones only 10% are able to support 4th generation service (LTE), thus we’ve concentrated more on third generation data service”, Sadooghi mentioned.
He also replied on the question of “How many users does MCI have? ”We have sold 73 millions sim cards and 64 millions of these are registered; so more than 60% of Iran’s communication market in mobile telecommunication belongs to MCI”, He added.
“The subsidy system sign ups rate showed that 82% of them were MCI’s customers and on the other hand The 90 TV show’s polling system analysis showed we had 63% of the voters in this TV show use our services. This presents the great share of the first telecommunication operator (MCI) in Iran’s communication market.”
While MCI’s share of Iran’s market is this high, the first ranked operators in Turkey and Pakistan have the share of 32% and 28% in respect.