TCI set to share its networks with ISPs

TCI set to share its networks with ISPs

Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) has entered into two agreements with Shatel and HiWeb, the local internet service providers, to share its networks with them

In July 2017, Iran’s Communication Regulatory Authority (CRA) ordered TCI to share its infrastructure with private companies through its initative called the ‘Wholesale Bitstream Access’.

Commenting on the decision by the CRA, Hussein Fallah, CRA director, explained: “The July regulation is aimed at boosting competitiveness in the market and enabling local firms to use the telecom infrastructure to the full extent.”

He went on to add that the TCI’s fibre-optic network will be shared with fixed communication provider permit holders and get rid of the state-owned company’s monopoly over the sector. “This can and must increase the quality of services,” continued Fallah.

According to the Financial Tribune, Majid Sadri, TCI’s CEO said: “In order to comply with the ombudsman’s July directive, TCI has developed a system for sharing its network with private entities.”

Bitstream access enables telcos to install a high-speed access link to customers’ premises and makes this link available to third parties, enabling them to provide high-speed services to its customers.

“A deal has been signed with Shatel and Hiweb,” added Sadri. “TCI is open to collaboration with all fixed communication service providers (FCPs).”

AsiaTech, Pars Online, Saba Net, Psihgaman, Helma Gostar and Afra Net, are all said to be considering signing similar agreements with TCI, says the Financial Tribune.

TCI has a monopoly in landline telecom infrastructure in Iran, as it has laid fibre-optic cables in several areas in Tehran and other major cities replacing copper cables. And while public funds were used to build and modernise these networks, TCI prevented private ISPs to sell services through the newly laid fibre cables.

In addition, TCI has often come under scrutiny from its customers due to the poor quality of its services, which its users would rather buy from private firms.

With over 30 million landline subscribers and 4.8 million Internet subscribers, it its hoped that the news marks a change in the telco landscape in Iran.