A recent report by the International Telecommunication Union shows that Iran is among the country’s with the biggest gains in terms of ICT Development Index (IDI) in 2017 compared to the previous year.
A report called “Measuring the Information Society 2017” by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has analyzed the status of ICT developments around the world. According to this report, Iceland, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Denmark and the United Kingdom are the top five countries in IDI 2017 ranking. In IDI 2016, Korea was the top-performing country. Iran is in the 81st spot among 176 counties, showing 4 steps improvements from 85 in 2016.
The most significant improvements in IDI value were accomplished by Namibia, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Gabon. All of which gained 0.50 points or more in the IDI value ranking.
According to ITU, Iran is among the most dynamic countries in the region (Asia and Pacific) by IDI ranking and value. The biggest gains in the region were made by Iran (up 0.54 points), the Lao P.D.R. and Indonesia (both up 0.47 points) and Timor-Leste (up 0.46 points). According to this report, Iran as the most dynamic country in terms of IDI value shows notable improvements in the region, for the increase in mobile-broadband subscribers per 100 population, Internet users and households with Internet access.
ITU’s 2017 report mentions that significant infrastructure investments have resulted in the further growth of ICT developments in Iran.
On the report it says that: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has forged ahead with telecommunications development, and mobile broadband in particular is showing strong growth.” The report also talks about the mobile telecommunication developments in Iran. In 2006, at the time of MTN Irancell’s launch in Iran, only 1 percent of the country’s population had a mobile phone subscription. By 2016, the number of mobile subscriptions exceeded the population with 93 percent of homes having a mobile phone. Currently in late-2017, the mobile penetration rate is 104.3 percent with nearly 83 million active and 70 million inactive SIM Cards.
The penetration rate of fixed-telephone services in Iran is also relatively high compared to other developing nations. The report mentions that “Iran has had submarine connectivity since 1992 and is currently served by half a dozen international undersea fiber-optic cable systems. In addition, it has cross-border terrestrial connections with Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Turkey, and offers international bandwidth to landlocked Afghanistan, Armenia and Turkmenistan. There are IXPs in the five leading cites. Although established only in 2016, the IXPs are already processing a significant amount of traffic.” Currently, households which have access to VDSL or fiber optic can receive internet services up to 50 Mbps for a price of 300 thousand Tomans (75 USD).
Iran’s international Internet bandwidth per Internet user (kbit/s) is still much lower than the global standards. Iran’s rating is 15.2 comparing to 48.0 in Asia & Pacific and 74.5 globally.