Iran is heavily investing in its Internet Infrastructure. In this post, we would take a look at Iran’s international Internet bandwidth and broadband network capacity.

 

With the new Iranian ICT Minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi in place, ICT Ministry is set to give out statistics and reports on a quarterly basis. Azari Jahromi even gave an executive order to the general ICT managers of all provinces to provide statistics on the shortcomings and problems of the different regions to be able to address these issues. This is an important case since access to accurate statistics in Iran is hard and organizations don’t give out that many statistics. Apart from that, decision making in the country is normally led by gut feeling rather than concrete statistics. This has been the case in nearly all the ministries in the country so seeing this kind of initiatives really excites us. Maybe after a while, by seeing the results, other ministries would start to give out accurate statistics on their sector.

There are four main key statistics regarding the internet in Iran which we have access to:

  • Iran’s international Internet bandwidth capacity
  • Iran’s broadband network capacity
  • Iran’s data transfer network capacity (fiber optic)
  • International data transit capacity

In this post, we are going to talk about “Iran’s international Internet bandwidth capacity” and “Iran’s broadband network capacity”.

Iran’s international Internet bandwidth capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017

Iran’s international Internet is the only source that Iranians can connect to the Worldwide Internet. As you can see in the following chart, the real growth in Iran’s international Internet bandwidth capacity has started from mid-2013 with President Rouhani in place. The growth that Iran had from 2013 to 2017 is massive and it shows the change of policies toward the internet in the country. Only in the first quarter of current Persian year (1396) or beginning of 2017, the country witnessed 252 Gbps growth in bandwidth from 743 to 995 Gbps. There is another turning point in the chart in 2015, which is probably caused by an increase in mobile internet penetration. 2015 was the time that 3G and 4G networks were rolling out completely in the country.

Current statistics also show that Iran’s mobile internet users have reached to 41 million and 57 thousand, while landline high-speed internet users are only 10 million and 281 thousand. Keep in mind that the landline internet is mostly used by families so there are probably 3 to 4 people using it in each household.

Iran’s international Internet bandwidth capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017
Iran’s international Internet bandwidth capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017

 

Iran’s broadband network capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017

“Iran’s broadband network capacity” is the term which Iran’s ICT Ministry uses for the capacity of the National Information Network (NIN). The network allows access to e-government services, digital services inside the country, affordable access to high-speed communications, as well as access to domestic content and services across the country. The national internet has also promised infrastructure security, network independence, increasing the share of internal traffic for consumers, and creating an economy for locally created content. The project consisted of three phases which the last one was launched in July 2017.

Again, similar to international Internet bandwidth capacity, broadband network capacity has also witnessed a massive growth from mid-2015 with President Rouhani in place. The capacity remained the same from last year’s report which has made some criticism in the country. You can check Iran’s broadband network capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017 in the chart below:

Iran’s broadband network capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017
Iran’s broadband network capacity from mid-2009 to mid-2017

These statistics clearly show a change of policy toward the internet in Iran. For now, we have to wait and see how the current government is going to further improve the ICT infrastructure in the next four years.

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