Internet penetration rate surpasses 123%

January 19, 2022 - 17:50

TEHRAN – The internet penetration rate in Iran has exceeded 123 percent, according to the latest statistics of the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA).

The latest data by the CRA published on Tuesday showed that the mobile internet penetration rate in the country has reached 109.27 percent, up by over 26 percent compared to figures reported in 2019.

Moreover, the number of Iranian mobile users reached nearly 135.890 million, according to the CRA which put the mobile phone penetration rate in the country at 161.67 percent.

The figures showed, however, that fixed broadband adoption in Iran had stalled at 14 percent with nearly 11.921 million customers having access to the Internet via those services.

This statistic shows that fixed broadband internet has grown by less than 2 percent compared to last year and mobile internet has experienced a growth of 10 percent. However, it can be said that the speed of mobile internet expansion is 5 times the speed of fixed internet.

The opposite is true in most countries, where fixed internet is growing faster.

Access to telecommunication services in rural areas of the country had improved over the period as the overall number of villages with access to communication services rose to 52,182, around 93 percent of all villages, while 47,837 villages had access to home landline services.

Iran has struggled to provide fast internet to a bulk of the population living in more than 55,000 villages in the country as demand for online services has increased with the spread of the coronavirus over the past two years.

Iran among countries with highest ICT growth

Iran is among the three countries with the highest growth rate in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the world, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, former minister of information and communications technology, said in February 2021.

According to the World Telecommunication Organization, Iran is among the first three countries with the highest growth rate in information technology in the world over three consecutive evaluation periods, he stated.

Referring to the ICT development, he said that 4.6 percent of the GDP is related to ICT, which is significant. The figure was about 2.7 percent in 2018 but experienced significant growth.

In terms of ICT infrastructure development in the mobile network, Iran is one of the countries with the most access, while the United States, with a larger population than Iran, does not have 100 percent broadband coverage in the rural areas, he added.

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