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Iran's ITC minister: Attraction of foreign investment, high on agenda

Tehran, June 1, IRNA -- Minister of Information Technology and Communications (ITC) Seyed Ahmad Motamedi said Tuesday that development of mobile and fixed phone networks and boost of their penetration coefficient are the most significant objectives of the sector.

In a meeting with New Zealand's Minister of Communications Motamedi added that within the framework of the five-year development plan, focus will be given to expansion of communication sector.

A report released by the public relations department of ITC Ministry quoting Motamedi referred to 15.5 million fixed telephones currently in operation and put the related penetration coefficient at 23 percent for every 100 individuals.

The minister predicted the rate to exceed 50 percent in five years.

"At present, 3.5 million cellular phones are operational across the country and the related penetration coefficient is five percent, which is expected to reach 30 percent in three years," he added.

Turning to the high demand of the sector and the applications for mobile phones turned in by 5.6 million individuals, the sector is expected to undergo the highest rate of expansion.

"The private sector is also cooperating with the foreign enterprises to this end," he added.

Motamedi also referred to the implemented widespread fiber optics network due to be connected to the domestic communication network and said that four neighboring countries have already access to it. "Iran and Afghanistan are expected to be inter-connected through this fiber optic network. Talks have been held with Iraq to the effect and it would be materialized if their domestic conditions are favorable," he added.

Concerning regional cooperation, he said, "Our policy is based on cooperation of the private sector with foreign companies and an 80-million-dollar loan has been allocated to back up the firms involved in the field.

For his part, The New Zelandean official referred to the potentials of his country in the field of communications and called for working on joint projects in Iran.

Turning to the activity of New Zelandean companies in ITC field, he said that at present a giant enterprise from his country comprising 100 small companies with a total investment of 100 million dollars is participating in communications projects in various countries.

The minister also called for cooperation with Iran's Radio Frequency Communications and cellular phone services in Iran.

... Payvand News - 6/1/04 ... --

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