A 34% of the population uses 3G and 4G Internet; the new administration, unlike its precedents, puts an important emphasis on developing ICT infrastructures.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has released the latest figures for the number of 3G and 4G Internet users in Iran showing a considerable number of connections in the country.

According to reports published by the ministry, a total of 27.1 million (34%) people actively use 3G and 4G Internet provided by local mobile phone operators in Iran, ICT Press reported.

  • MCI: Some 13.1 million subscribers actively use Internet provided by Hamrah-e-Avval or MCI, giving it the biggest share of the market. The number of MCI subscribers to 3G and 4G Internet has been reported as 12.8 million and 297,000 respectively, however many are unable to receive 4G as MCI only recently started giving out 4G SIMs. The report adds that by September 21, MCI covered 547 cities with 3G Internet while providing 33 cities with 4G Internet.
  • MTN-Irancell: Additionally, 10.4 million subscribers use 3G Internet provided by the second operator Irancell and nearly 1.6 million subscribers use Irancell’s 4G Internet. This amounts to a total of 12 million people using 3G and 4G Internet provided by Irancell. The second operator has provided 568 cities with 3G Internet coverage while providing 228 cities with 4G Internet.
  • RighTel: The third operator RighTel reportedly has a total of 1.9 million mobile Internet users, the details on the numbers of RighTel’s 3G and 4G subscribers have not been provided. RighTel’s 3G Internet coverage expands through 520 cities across Iran.

Unlike its predecessors, the Hassan Rouhani administration has been a proponent of developing ICT infrastructures. Currently there are about 40 million high-speed Internet users in Iran, 9.3 million of whom use traditional broadband through a landline.

Roaming Contracts

  • MCI: With contract SIM cards, MCI signed deals with 306 foreign operators from 110 different countries. As for “pay as you go” SIMs, the company has signed roaming deals with 86 operators from 53 different nations.
  • MTN-Irancell: The second operator MTN-Irancell has also signed roaming deals with 424 operators from 164 countries for contract SIM cards. Holders of pay as you go Irancell SIMs can use roaming services from 139 operators in 81 countries while the company’s data SIM cards can be used in 127 countries and with 324 operators.
  • RighTel: Lastly, RighTel Iran’s third mobile operator has signed roaming deals with 213 operators from 137 countries for the use of prepaid SIMs. RighTel’s pay as you go SIMs can also be used with 213 operators in 137 countries.


By October 2016, the number of landlines set up in Iran was reported at 35.1 million. Of this number 28.9 million lines are in urban areas and 6.2 million lines in villages, the Telecommunication Company of Iran reports.

A total of 30.4 million lines are actively used across the country; 25.4 million of the lines are in urban areas and 5 million in villages.

By October 22, the penetration rate of landlines was reported at 38.21%. Until this time landlines had been set up in 48,033 villages and connections were activated in 54,286 villages. In previous reports published by the ministry penetration rate of landlines was reported as 38.42% by September 21, 2016.

The Telecommunication Company of Iran had previously announced that by September 21, nearly 30.4 million landlines were in active use and a total of 37 million lines had been set up nationwide.

The penetration rate was reported at 38.22% at the time. There were 25.4 million landlines active in urban and 5 million lines active in rural areas.

Furthermore a total of 124,057 public phones were in active use by October 22. Previously 30.2 million public phones used to work nationwide till March 19, 2016.

Source: Financial tribune