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Iran reaches 100 percent telecommunications penetration: BMI

12 April 2012
Business Monitor International (BMI) says Iran has reached to 100 percent telecommunications penetration and expects the Iranian mobile market to cross the 100 percent penetration threshold in early 2012

"Iran's mobile market, by far the largest segment of the country's telecoms industry, exhibited considerably slower growth in 2011 compared with previous years, which reflects the market's maturity, with the penetration rate just shy of 100 percent at the end of the year", said BMI in its new Iran Telecommunications Report.

Research and Markets said that the growth and market's maturity led Business Monitor International (BMI) to revise down forecasts last quarter, which it holds in the Q212 update on Iran's telecommunications market.

The country's second largest mobile operator, MTN Irancell, is still the only company to give any indication of how the market is progressing. The company's latest operational data for Q311 was stronger than Q211, but growth rates were still weak overall.

The report noted that Iran's mobile market would slow inevitably, as major cities approach saturation and growth prospects are more limited to rural areas that are harder to reach and offer more limited revenue.

BMI's mobile subscriber forecast for Iran expects the mobile sector expanding by over 8 percent in 2012, with the mobile customer base forecast to grow to 80.85mn by the end of the year. BMI continues to expect the mobile market to cross the 100 percent penetration threshold in early 2012.

Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the bulk of mobile subscriptions in Iran are made up of prepaid users. Many of these are understood to be inactive and this means actual penetration rates are almost certainly much lower than the forecast suggests, hence BMI's forecasts for continued growth.

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Last year, BMI through its Iran Telecommunications Report revealed that at the end of 2010, there were a total of 67.5 million subscribers in Iran, equivalent to a penetration rate of 91 percent.

© Tehran Times 2012

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