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Market Report, "Iran Telecommunications Report Q1 2013", Published

New Fixed Networks market report from Business Monitor International: "Iran Telecommunications Report Q1 2013"


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/10/2013 -- BMI View: Iran's mobile penetration was reported as exceeding 110% in the third quarter 2012. Although the fixed-line and internet sectors continue to record positive growth, they remain restricted by tight government regulation, censorship and underinvestment in network infrastructure. All three sectors present significant growth opportunities but we expect the mobile sector to continue to outperform because of superior network investments and competition between the operators.

Key data

?? There has been no new data released by the ITU or operators, and therefore new data in our Q113 report is based on BMI estimations. ?? Quarterly mobile growth averaged 3.5% in the 12 months to September 2012. ?? Iran's mobile ARPU is unchanged in Q312, although with the increasing sanctions imposed by the EU, we see it falling over Q412 and beyond.

Risk/Reward Ratings

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Iran jumped considerably in BMI's Risk/Reward ratings for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Its movement from 14th place to 11th place was triggered by an increase in Industry Reward and Country Risk scores. While the strong performance of the telecommunications market in Q212 was promising, in the wake of increased political risk, and Western sanctions, BMI doubts the market will be able to sustain this position into Q213.

Key Trends And Developments

EU sanctions were implemented against Iran in October, in an effort to increase pressure on the government to end its uranium enriching program. The sanctions caused the rial to fall to historic lows, which could slice 5% or more off South African telecoms provider MTN's full-year earnings. MTN took a 49% stake in mobile operator Irancell in 2005. It now contributes about 9% to its earnings. The official currency exchange rate is IRR12,600 per US$1, but the price on the open market hit a record IRR37,500 in October 2012.

Iranian digital production, especially laptop and computer imports, has been significantly hit by the US dollar rate, reports ILNA. The US dollar rate that rose to IRR26,200/US$, compared with IRR21,400/US$ in the week ended September 8 and IRR10,400/US$ in January 2011. Meanwhile, rapid variations in the country's forex market have also confused Iranian importers.

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