Every week we’ll be bringing you the highlights of Iran’s tech scene in the past week. This week, we covered Iran to remove the Twitter ban, Telegram losing its place, the growth of mobile internet and MTN staying in Iran.


Removing Twitter Ban in Iran Got More Serious 

According to ITMEN, 8 out of the 12 members of Iran’s Filtering Committee have written a letter to the Deputy State Prosecutor in charge of Cyberspace Crimes in favor of removing the ban on Twitter. Six of them were Rouhani’s ministers and the other two parliament members. 

In the past, especially during Rouhani’s first presidency, the government made efforts in the matter, but it seemed that the government alone is not able to remove the ban on the social media app. Now that Telegram is banned some of the authorities believe that removing Twitter’s ban in this situation will be helpful.

Mr. Sobahnifar, an observing member of parliament in the Supreme Council of Cyberspace and also one of the 8 who signed the letter, expressed some of the reasons that the ban on Twitter should be removed. “The foreign media has created negative impressions against the country due to Telegram’s banning and some other limitations, therefore this act can neutralize those effects and impressions”. He also continued that the local messaging apps are not enough for the people and that the society is looking for a social media app that brings more information and insight.

Related: President Rouhani Tries to Lift the Ban on Twitter, Improve Digital Economy and Make the Internet More Open


Telegram Losing Views in Iran 

According to Mehr News, Deputy of the National Center for Cyberspace, Abbas Asooshe, announced that the matter of exclusivity of messaging apps in Iran has been finally broken. He continued that the views on Telegram have decreased by 60% going from about 2.5 billion views to less than 1 billion during last month. Also, the number of active channels in this messenger has shrunk down from 530 thousand to less than 277 thousand in last two months.

He also pointed out to local messengers and their performance in the last months. “We are aware that these apps have not yet fulfilled people’s expectations in terms of quality and service and we have obliged them to move in that direction.” At the same time, he praised their performance in such short notice and believes that they can satisfy the needs of the Iranian people in the near future.

Related: Iran’s Deputy Attorney General: Business Activity on Telegram Is a Crime


Incredible Growth in Iran’s Mobile Internet 

According to Mehr News, the Economic Office of the ICT Ministry has released the latest statistics on important indicators of the country’s ICT sector in the previous year (1396). This statistic shows that mobile penetration rate in Iran is 110% and 53 million people are using mobile internet. Compared to the previous year (1395), it’s a big step towards development in this matter, since the mobile penetration rate was 104% and 33 million people were using internet mobile.

The statistic also indicates that landline communication has not witnessed any substantial growth. Since the previous year, only 200 landline telephones have been installed in rural places and villages in the country.

Related: Iran Is Heavily Investing in Its Internet Infrastructure


MTN Staying in Iran

After MTN’s recent efforts in pulling out some of its money from Iran, the CEO of this South-African company explained his stance towards Iran in front of the other shareholders of MTN. He cleared the air by saying he has no intention to leave Iran and stop their investments in the country. Rather he emphasized that in the future, he expects a notable growth in the company’s divined from investments in Iran. For the full report, you can read the article below.

MTN Is Not Leaving Iran

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