Today Iran’s Deputy Minister of ICT announced that developing domestic messaging apps is one of Iran’s priorities in the country’s ICT sector.

Amir Hossein Davaee, Iran’s Deputy Minister of ICT for Innovation and Technology at the Investment and Business Opportunities in ICT Industry conference stated that developing a domestic messaging app is on the agenda of Supreme Council of Cyberspace and Ministry of Communications.

Every country has its own popular messaging app. These kinds of apps in Iran have their own story as they change regularly by time in the country. We have used Viber, Line, WeChat, BeeTalk and partly WhatsApp but the current dominant messaging app in Iran is Telegram. Some of the apps in Iran got banned because they might have been used for dating purposes or they didn’t cooperate with the government on some issues such as moving their servers inside the country or removing some groups or channels that could have been harmful to the people. But with this initiative that has been around for some time now,  Supreme Council of Cyberspace and Ministry of Communications made it one step closer to reality.

Davaee the Deputy Minister of ICT,  also emphasized that the purpose of developing a domestic messaging app is not to have a governmental messaging app but rather defining the required laws and regulations to protect users’ privacy and their rights to create a competitive advantage for domestic messaging apps.

Apart from the talks on domestic messaging apps, during the Investment and Business Opportunities in ICT Industry conference, some statistics on Iran internet penetration were also revealed. Based on the statistics that have been announced by Davaee, today Iran has 27.9M internet users which 19M of them are mobile users and 8.8M are using fixed lines. According to Davaee Iran has 76M mobile subscribers.

With the initiative from the government in 2013 to expand and develop the broadband, Iran would spend $8 billion on its infrastructure to develop National Information Network or National Internet of Iran to help the businesses and startups which need this infrastructure to run their businesses. Davaee also talked about Internet of Things and the importance of this technology. “Without the government help this technology can’t take off the ground,” said Davaee.

With this amount of investments in the past and current investment for the future, we are starting to feel the outcome of these initiatives in the daily life of Iranians. And in a few years from now, we might even see Iran to become a hub in the MENA region for these kinds of technological advancements.

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