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Iran seeks role as CIT hub

Iran is hoping to use the platform of Iran Telecom 2004 to boost its prospects of emerging as a communications and information technology (CIT) hub for the region.

Iran is hoping to use the platform of Iran Telecom 2004 to boost its prospects of emerging as a communications and information technology (CIT) hub for the region. The event is scheduled for September 19-22 2004 at the Tehran International Fairgrounds and will host an expected 25,000 trade visitors.

“Given proper grounds in Iran to boost CIT, our country is ready to help set up a regional CIT hub,” says first vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Reza Aref.

“During the period of the Fourth Development Plan (2005-2010), our government will further focus on privatisation and liberalisation of the telecom market to spur economic growth, foreign investments and favorable employment conditions,” he adds.

The country has made rapid advances in infrastructure to support this including the installation of a new wireless mesh network nationwide and a 10,000km fibre optic network with Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) technology.

Major areas of future growth include the expansion of public switching systems to increase the number of telephone lines. The fixed line network now stands at 15.5 million subscribers with 45% of the network erected during the last four years. Advances in mobile cellular networks, rural telecommunications and data communications systems are also planned.

Further goals of Iran’s telecommunications development are the transition from an analogue to a digital system and wider introduction of satellite networks. Fibre optic systems will increasingly be used as junctions or for long-distance connections.

According to Arab Advisors, GSM revenues in Iran will exceed US$8.6 billion between 2004 and 2009. More players are also expected to enter the sector by 2007. The government is also expected to issue a third GSM licence in 2006.

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