How much do you have to pay for mobile Internet in Iran? Is it based on the speed? or is it based on the data usage?
Mobile Internet is getting more users each day in Iran. Two or three years ago we only had EDGE or 2.5G with 100Kbps speed. So you can imagine you couldn’t do much with this speed. Maybe the only thing that you could do was to check your messaging app for new texts because normally text messages don’t need high speed internet connections to be transferred. So It was only text based messages. With this fact in mind there were many people in Iran who payed for that kind of Internet connection via their operators few years back. But Things changed very fast from two years ago. People are demanding for mobile broadband and operators are working hard to be able to deliver to their customers.
From Edge to 4G
Now all three operators are offering 4G connection in many cities in Iran. But how is the pricing? how does it work in Iran? In the start Internet costs were based on bandwidth and data usage. Higher internet speed and more data usage means you should pay for each Kb in terms of speed or data usage. I should also mention that there were and there are plans for unlimited data usage but the price depends on the speed and it’s much more expensive. These unlimited plans are affordable at very slow connection such as 128 Kbps or 256 Kbps (Yes we still have that) but if you want to get 1 Mbps connection you should pay a hefty price. The cost of the mobile broadband has the same story at least for the other two operators (MCI and Rightel), which depends on the speed and data usage. On the other hand, MTN Irancell Internet plans only depend on the data usage. With MTN’s experience in other countries it’s no surprise that they should have better mobile internet plans. The mobile internet speed also varies based on location, so we can’t give you the exact numbers. Let’s take a look at each of these operators internet plans. We start with the oldest operator MCI after that Irancell and the last one would be Rightel. The internet speed we mention here is just an estimation. Only MCI mentioned its internet speed on the website the other two operators just announced their peak Internet speed in lab which is useless. The other important factor is that even in Tehran you would get different internet speed based on your location. The last thing that you should pay attention to is that the average mobile internet speed is lower than Maximum speed of 3G capabilities, so basically 4G is just for show. Overall 4G coverage is poor too.
MCI the oldest operator in Iran has always been a little bit slow on everything. If they weren’t the first one and government backed, they would have failed for sure. But recently they brought some energy into their campaigns. They have been offering low prices since the start but because of the bad and slow internet connection, it wasn’t usable. With the introduction of 3G and 4G, they have been offering better services and much more speedier internet connection to their customers.
Irancell, the collaboration between Iran and MTN. From the start Irancell was the most innovative operator in terms of plans and services in Iran. Cell Phone plans were truly introduced by Irancell in Iran. They brought tons of plans and campaigns which were new to Iranian users. Right now Irancell offers the highest mobile internet speed and the lowest price in the market as you can see in the table above. In some parts of the city where the reception is good, you can even use your phone as your primary source for Internet. The cost is even lower and the speed is much more higher than ADSL connection.
Last but not least, Rightel. Two years ago Rightel had the best Mobile internet connection because of the exclusivity that government gave them. Rightel had the 3G exclusivity in order to be able to compete with the two other operators: Irancell and MCI. Rightel was supposed to have its exclusivity for two years but the government extended the exclusivity for one more year. In the past two years the other two operators brought 3G and 4G, so the competition got tough for them.