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.
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 retain our estimate of around 3.8mn 3G subscriptions at the end of 2013 and our forecast for 6.1mn at the end of 2014, and we expect the rapid growth to continue over the short term. 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...
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.
- Benchmark BMI's independent telecoms industry forecasts for Iran to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Iranian telecoms market.
- Target business opportunities and risks in Iran's telecoms sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Iran.
- Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity).
BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI's key industry forecasts and views, covering the ICT, fixed-line, mobile (including 3G), internet and broadband markets.
Industry SWOT Analysis
Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the wireline and wireless sectors and within the broader political, economic and business environment.
Business Environment Rankings
BMI's Telecommunications Business Environment Rankings provides a country-comparative Risk-Reward Rankings index aimed at investors (vendors, operators and suppliers) in the regional telecoms market.
The rankings methodology makes sophisticated use of more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points.
BMI Industry Forecast Scenario
Historic data series and forecasts to end-2018 for all key industry indicators (see list below) supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.
- Fixed-Line Telephony - Telephone lines ('000); telephone lines/100 inhabitants.
- Cellular Telephony - Mobile phone subscribers ('000); mobile phone subscribers/100 inhabitants; mobile phone subscribers/100 fixed line subscribers.
- Internet Markets - Internet users ('000); internet users/100 inhabitants; broadband internet subscribers ('000); broadband internet subscribers/100 inhabitants.
Market Data Analysis
Detailed market analysis of the mobile, mobile content, fixed line and internet segments, broken down into:
- Market Data - Analysis of market size, operator shares, dominant trends, competitive landscape and key quarterly data.
- Technology/Service Rollout - Analysis of rollout/adoption of new technology, such as 3G, WiMAX, IPTV, pay-TV, LTE and value-added handset services (gaming, music, video, apps etc.).
- Mobile Content - The latest trends in content and services available and being introduced by mobile operators. Including a timeline of all the latest major mobile content developments.
- Company Database - A comprehensive breakdown of KPIs of the leading mobile operators, including subscriber figures by type (pre-paid and post-paid); 3G subscriber figures; net additions; market share; ARPU; churn rates; minutes of use; voice and non-voice revenue; financial figures (including operating revenues, net profits and EBITDA).
Details of the regulatory bodies and their responsibilities, as well as a special focus on the rules surrounding competition and interconnection. The latest updates in the market's development and regulatory rulings.
Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI's industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate Company SWOT analyses.
The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.