After many rumors on internet pricing in Iran, new internet pricing just got released by the Ministry of Communications. The Internet access prices via ADSL and Public WiFi got %16 to %30 cheaper.
If you want to get an internet subscription in Iran you have two general plans to think about. The first general plan usually revolves around the fact that you would buy a plan with specific internet speed and traffic. This is the most common plan in the country right now and it’s the most economic plan that you can purchase. The second general plan is basically the same plan as the first one but with little differences. Unlike the first plan that you choose a specific internet speed with a specific traffic usage, in the second plan, you would choose the internet speed (and pay the subscription for that speed) then you are free to buy as much as traffic as you need. The more traffic that you buy, the more discount you get. Of course, in both plans, you can get extra traffic whenever you needed to. The difference is in the first plan you would pay the lowest rate for extra traffic but in the second plan, you would pay for the extra traffic in respect to the amount of GB that you purchase. Enough with the hypothetical plans let’s get to the exact numbers.
One of the most important changes that we need to pay attention to is that Iran’s Ministry of Communications is preparing the country for National Information Network (National Intranet or National Internet) which is a domestic network to connect all the ISPs and government organizations and reduce the country’s dependency on the global internet. In this way, if you want to access a website or data which is hosted inside of the country, the traffic would stay in the country’s own intranet and not through the global internet. So with the new internet pricing, Ministry of Communications made this plan one step closer to reality by setting a different pricing for using the national internet. And yes, the national internet is much cheaper than the actual internet. Right now based on the pricing, accessing the global internet would cost you three times more than the national internet. So with the new initiatives from the government to encourage the domestic content production, forcing social media platforms (even invest in social media) outside of Iran such as Telegram to host Iranian’s data inside the country by the end of this Persian year, and lowering the price to access it via national internet, this national project might see some tractions in near future.
In the first plan, you have internet speeds from 1 Mbps to 8 Mbps. It’s not clear yet if the higher internet speeds are available to the individuals and what is the pricing for that. We should mention that the internet pricing for higher internet speeds is available for businesses. Note that the plans that we are mentioning here are monthly base subscriptions. There are three factors which are determining the price of the internet subscription in this plan. Internet speed (from 1Mbps to 8 Mbps), domestic traffic (from 20GB to 60GB), and international traffic (from 10GB to 30GB) are the main factors. There might be some ISPs that are not connected to the national internet or they might not be able to calculate the different type of traffics (Domestic and international). In that case, they should add 1GB of international traffic for each 3 GB of domestic traffic to the user’s account. These kind of plans are suitable for the households or individuals who are satisfied with the traffic and have a certain amount data usage per month. There is another characteristic to this plan, if you use all of your traffic you can also buy extra traffic with the lowest rate possible which is nearly $0.42 (42 cents). In terms of pricing, the basic plan starts at $7 per month and the most advanced plan is about $28.5 per month. There is no information available if you could transfer your traffic to the next month if you got extra traffic at your hand at the end of the month.
If you don’t want to pay for a certain amount of traffic per month and just want to pay based on your usage, this is the plan for you. Unlike the previous plan, there are no talks about the domestic and international traffic so we can guess there is no difference in terms of the types of the traffic. In order to get this plan, a user should pay a minimum subscription fee for the internet speed that he/she might choose, plus a fee for 2GB of the minimum traffic. After paying for the minimum subscription fee and 2GB of traffic you are good to purchase any amount of traffic that you need. The price of the traffic that you can buy also gets cheaper if you buy more traffic at once. As long as you pay the minimum subscription fee each month you can make sure that your traffic would be extended for the next upcoming months. The price of each Gigabyte (GB) of traffic starts with $1.1 for less than 3GB purchase and ends with $0.42 (42 cents) for more than 30GB purchase. The minimum monthly subscription fee for different internet speeds, spans from $0.42 (42 cents) for 128Kbps (yes we have that speed) to $5.1 for more than 8Mbps.The cheapest plan that you could get also belongs to this type of plan with the minimum subscription fee of $0.42 plus two GB of traffic which is $1.7. This makes the internet price nearly $2 per month which is the cheapest plan that you can find.
If you are wondering about mobile operator internet prices in Iran as well you can check TechRasa’s post here.