Iran’s telecoms minister announces nationwide fibre plan

28 April 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Iran’s minister of communications, Mahmoud Vaezi, has announced a programme to connect every home to a nationwide fibre network.

The minister announced the news just three weeks before President Hassan Rouhani stands for re-election. Vaezi is a close ally of Rouhani and was his adviser in the 2013 election.

Vaezi said that the Iran Telecommunications Company (ICT) has developed the project, according to reports from the country’s official international television channel, Press TV.

Vaezi described it as a major progress that would revolutionise Iran’s national data network. He said that the Rouhani administration had been pursuing the development of the national fibre network despite numerous obstacles.

He said the project had started in the capital, Tehran, and eight other cities and “would soon expand to other areas of the country”, according to the Press TV report. Details were few: he did not say whether each home would be directly connected to fibre, or whether the company would use fibre to the building or cabinet.

In addition he promised progress in wireless broadband, with 900 cities and towns covered by 3G and 742 by 4G. He said 3G and 4G coverage had been “extremely limited” when Rouhani assumed office in 2013.

Vaezi provided no details of how TCI was planning to build the network, nor which vendors it would be using. In September 2016 Capacity reported that Stefano Pileri, CEO of equipment company Italtel, had told a conference in Iran that it was bidding to build a nationwide fibre company. Italian carrier Sparkle has developed its international connectivity to Iran.