This week the Minister of ICT, Azari Jahromi, talked about the ministry’s achievements and the latest trends in the country’s ICT field during both the inauguration of electronic government and his special interview in the Iranian T.V.
Jahromi explained the developments of ICT infrastructures in the country in the recent years, pointing out to several key issues that his ministry has mainly focused on. These matters were mostly related to infrastructure development: high-speed mobile internet coverage across the country, fixed communications through fiber optic ports, smart and electronic government, local and international communication capacity, local startups and overall improving the quality of ICT services in the country.
Internet Infrastructure in Iran
Jahromi stated that today, 1246 cities are provided with 3G and 4G internet, which is a 100% coverage in urban areas by the operator MCI (Hamrah-e Aval) and 97% by Irancell. However, this coverage was only 35% in rural places which the ministry had managed to add a 20% to make it 55% at the moment.
He also mentioned that in developing fixed-telephone internet by replacing telecommunication cables with fiber optic ones, they were not as successful. “We have only managed to install 200 thousand fiber optic ports, and therefore we need more effort to compensate in the future. According to our plans, this number will reach 2 million by the end of the year.”
Also in international communications, Jahromi said that the country has entered the Terabits club, moving from 73 to 1200 Gigabit in country’s international bandwidth capacity. “In local bandwidth as well we have moved from 640 Gigabit to 5.4 Terabit and reached 18.2 Terabit in country’s data network capacity.”
27 Million Iranians without Smartphones
Azari Jahromi also emphasized that all Iranians should be provided with smartphones. He explained that today from MCI’s more than 50 million active users, 18 million do not have smartphones. Same for Irancell, which from more than its 30 million active users, 9 million lack a smartphone. “We have obligated the operators to start bundling smartphones so that all of the Iranian people would possess a smartphone.”
Only 6.5 Million Iranians Migrated out of Telegram
The ICT Minister also talked about the issue of messaging apps in Iran. He emphasized that “in this matter, the people are the final deciders. And whether the banning works or not we will be condemned either way.” He continued that the infrastructures of local messaging apps are not just technical and the case of trust exists as well. “Since the day Telegram was banned, only 6.5 million out of the 45 million Iranian users have migrated from this app.”