Iran's second mobile network goes live

Rafsanjan Industrial Complex’s (RIC) mobile network in Iran has been gone live after lengthy delays.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  May 26, 2005

Rafsanjan Industrial Complex’s (RIC) mobile network in Iran has been gone live after lengthy delays. Millicom International Cellular, the Luxembourg-based company which is part of the consortium behind the network, has announced that the service has gone live in greater Tehran. Millicom has a deal with RIC to manage the network, which will aim to serve two million prepaid customers and be owned by RIC under a build, operate and transfer contract with the incumbent operator, Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI). Millicom is to be paid a share of the revenues generated by the network and has an option to acquire 47% of the company that will operate it. The move, originally scheduled to take place in early 2004, is expected to alleviate under-capacity in TCI’s own mobile infrastructure. It is expected to generate thousands of jobs and offer prepaid connections at far lower charges than those for TCI’s subscriptions. In a statement, Marc Beuls, President and CEO of Millicom International Cellular S.A. commented: "We are delighted to be managing the RIC network that today started providing GSM services in Iran, a country with mobile penetration of less than 5% and a huge pent-up demand for mobile services." Meanwhile, reports suggest that legal wranglings over Turkcell’s entrance into the country’s mobile market as a full GSM operator could be over by May.

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