Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/09/2014 -- BMI View: Iran's telecoms market is an underperformer in the Middle East as a result of political and economic risks, exacerbated by currency depreciation which is limiting access to the latest device and so limiting the market's growth. Furthermore, the Iranian government is keen to restrict access to international internet content, creating a national internet network that will bypass international gateways and cut off large swathes of global content. For this, the government began talks with the Chinese government in early 2014. That said, over the medium term there is catch-up potential in Iran, and its large population should make it one of the most attractive telecoms markets in the Middle East.
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- Fixed-line connections increased by just 1.9% in 2013, a significant slowdown. While we expect growth to continue over the medium term, increased competition in the mobile segment could drive down prices and catalyse fixed-to-mobile substitution.
- Mobile subscriptions declined slightly in Q313 as MTN reported a sharp loss in connections due to inactive subscription discounting, before the market returned to growth with net additions of 358,000 in Q413.
- We retained our forecast for around 3.8mn 3G subscriptions at the end of 2013 and we expect the rapid growth to continue. However, additional competition in the market would have a greater impact on growth.
Key Trends And Developments
MTN Irancell's operating results for the final three months of 2013 gave some insight to smartphone market in Iran. MTN reported a total of 10.3mn smartphone users, which equates to almost 25% of its subscription base. Considering the lack of 3G service availability in Iran, along with import restrictions on electronics and reduced purchasing power due to currency depreciation, this is an impressive rate of adoption. Nonetheless the smartphone opportunity remains large in Iran due to its late-developer status. BMI believes vendors will be able to capitalise on...
The Iran Telecommunications Report features Business Monitor International (BMI)'s independent industry forecasts on the future strength of Iran's ICT market, covering the fixed-line, mobile and internet segments and analyses latest regulatory developments and corporate news, including investment activity, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships. Leading operators and manufacturers are fully profiled, highlighting their quarterly financial performance, capital expenditure plans and latest contracts.
BMI's Iran Telecommunications Report provides industry professionals and researchers, operators, equipment suppliers and vendors, corporate and financial services analysts and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the telecoms industry in Iran.
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