Networks, Local Content are Barriers to Mobile Data Growth in Iran, Pyramid Finds

Mar 02, 2011, 13:19 ET from Pyramid Research

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile data revenue in Iran is limited by the lack of 3G licenses and by the poor quality of the incumbent's core network, as well as limitations on online content. These circumstances are changing, however, and with strong demand, mobile data revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (

Iran: Network Improvement and Local Content Will Foster Growth in Data Services offers a precise profile of the country's telecommunications, media and technology sectors based on proprietary data from Pyramid's research in the market. It provides detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies.

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Due to infrastructure limitations and legal restrictions on Internet websites, Iran's data segment is still in its infancy, generating less than a fifth of the telecom industry's $9.1 billion revenue in 2010.

"Iran has a national ban on many websites, including political, human rights and women's sites and blogs expressing dissent or deemed to be pornographic and un-Islamic," says Hussam Barhoush, Senior Analyst at Pyramid. "The ban has also targeted such popular social networking sites as Facebook and YouTube, as well as news sites," he adds.

"Network improvement and creation of local content in Iran will be crucial as growth in data services is triggered by the entry of a third operator, Tamin Telecom," indicates Barhoush.  Pyramid expects data's share of total revenue to reach 29 percent by the end of 2015, reaching $3.1 billion. This growth will come not only from new broadband infrastructure but also from greater mobile Internet availability over 2.5G and the launch of 3G and mobile broadband.

3G handsets are already common, as the networks of the two mobile operators are trailing far behind the capabilities of their subscribers' handsets. "Once the third entrant launches 3G services in late 2011, and other operators launch 3G after the two-year exclusivity period, Pyramid expects 3G service adoption to boom. By 2015, Pyramid expects Iran to have caught up with the other Gulf countries and to see about half of all phones with 3G capabilities," says Barhoush.  

Iran: Network Improvement and Local Content Will Foster Growth in Data Services is part of Pyramid Research's Africa & Middle East Country Intelligence Report Series and is priced at $990. Download the excerpt here: It can be purchased online here or by emailing us at

Jennifer Baker, +1-617-871-1910,

SOURCE Pyramid Research