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IRAN PLANS TO BECOME TELECOMS HUB WITH EXPONENTIAL GROWTH FORECAST IN DOMESTIC WIRELESS AND INTERNET MARKETS

London, 10th November 2003 - A new report published today by BroadGroup, the London based broadband and mobility consultancy, suggests that Iran is positioning to become a telecoms hub between Asia and Europe. As it does so, the domestic market in wireless and Internet is poised for substantial growth, yielding opportunities for overseas equipment and services providers. The report, The Telecommunications Market in Iran, is the first available survey of the current state of play in communications in the country, covering fixed, mobile, Internet and datacomms. With a population of some 68 million, similar to that of France, the report sizes the Iranian market opportunity across all sectors and provides forecasts for growth over the next five years and value projections for the fixed and mobile infrastructure markets. 'Internet in Iran has a current CAGR of 96%', commented Dr Qmars Safikhani, the report author and an associate director of BroadGroup, 'but mobile too is experiencing huge growth, and we are forecasting more than treble the current subscriber base of 3.5m by mid-2005'. The report details advances in infrastructure being made including the installation of a new wireless mesh network nationwide, and a 10,000 km fibre optic network with SDH technology as part of the hub strategy. Major areas of future growth are identified in the report, and include the expansion of public switching systems to increase the number of telephone lines, satellite communications, mobile cellular networks, rural telecommunications and data communications systems. Transition from an analogue to a digital system and wider introduction of satellite networks are the major aims of the country's telecommunication strategy. Fibre optic systems will increasingly be used as junctions or for long-distance connections. Identifying potential barriers to market entry, the report also provides an outline of the progress of deregulation, and the recognition of the need for inward investment with joint venture partners. The report includes contact details for service providers, domestic supplier organisations and government bodies. 'As the first report to assess Iran, we believe that market growth across all sectors is significant' added Dr Safikhani, 'and given the plans currently in place, will afford a series of opportunities for participation by overseas companies'.

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