New telecom projects unveiled on World Telecommunication Day

May 21, 2019 - 12:0

TEHRAN -- The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry inaugurated four new projects to commemorate World Telecommunication Day, which is celebrated annually on May 17.

The achievements were unveiled during a ceremony attended by ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi on Sunday, IRNA reported.

Over 7,200 villages linked to National Information Network 

The projects were carried out with a total budget of 4 trillion rials (about $95 million) aimed to provide infrastructures for ICT development and access of all people to basic services of ICT.

Up to now, 80 percent of rural areas are under ICT coverage. The plan is composed of four electronic services including banking, medical, educational and agricultural systems, which would be available in villages with more than 20 families.

The projects cut the digital gap between rural and urban areas to half, he said.

During the Iranian calendar year of 1396 (March 2017-March 2018) the urban data usage was 5.9 gigabytes, while the number was 600 megabytes in rural areas, however the figure has reached 2.9 gigabytes in villages, he explained.

The first phase of e-government services project in Iran officially came on stream under the title of ‘Mobile Government’ in mid-May 2018.

The project aims to facilitate some government services, reduce unnecessary expenses and ease traffic jam, which is the main cause of air pollution in big cities.

It is based on the National Information Network, an ongoing project to develop a secure and stable infrastructure network in the country.

Dejfa, security shield of National Information Network

The security shield project, as part of National Information Network, provides security for online business and governmental affairs.

The project is composed of ten systems including Tele-Afzar which deals with malware, Kovashgar which explores suspicious files, Samat which confronts Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, Bina which focuses on bots in IPs, and Checkup which assesses SSL certificates and DNS servers.

During the past [Iranian calendar] year, Iran identified and neutralized about 600,000 cyber-attacks and the figure surged to 33 million this year, which means that security has been strengthened by 50 times, Azari Jahromi announced during the ceremony.

“We also plan to provide a system to deal with phishing as one of ten security shields in National Information Network in the near future through which attacked sites will be announced to internet users,” he added.

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

 Sarva, a bridge between open government databases and citizens

Open government databases promote transparency, accountability and value creation by making government data available to all. Public bodies produce and commission huge quantities of data and information. By making their datasets available, public institutions become more transparent and accountable to citizens.

Sarva is another project which was introduced by ICT Ministry, aiming to provide a platform in order to make national data available while securing citizens’ privacy.

Using Sarva, citizens can receive mobile government services by non-state-run applications on their smart phones.

“I call today the day of nationalization of government data, on which the government data and information are available for startups to expand their markets,” Azari Jahromi explained.

Development of telecommunication infrastructure

Another project was the development of telecommunication infrastructures in different provinces with a budget of 316 trillion rials (about $75 million) using Iranian-made equipment.

Tehran, West Azarbaijan, Hormozgan and Fars are the provinces which are equipped to boost their telecommunication infrastructure.

“We have provided 70 percent of the equipment for the national telecommunication network up to now,” Azari Jahromi said during the event.

World Telecommunication Day is celebrated on May 17 since 1969. The date marks the anniversary of the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865, when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. In 1973, the event was formally instituted at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos, Spain. Every year a topical theme is chosen and events celebrating that theme take place around the world. Bridging the standardization gap

The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, like its predecessors, focuses on a particular theme for each event.