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Iran after launching cheap national Internet

Iranian Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Mohammad Soleimani said on Wednesday that once the National Internet is created, domestic users would be able to receive web services at far lower costs.

The national network will also help enhance web security for Iranian users and allay their privacy concerns about emails and other information in the form of data protection, according to IRNA's English morning paper, the Iran Daily, in its Thursday edition.

The issue also makes economic sense, as the country will not need to pay extra costs for leasing Internet bands. The ICT Ministry believes that Internet costs must come down likewise, but with high-quality and inexpensive IT services to users.

The ministry aims to remove ambiguities related to private sector participation in ICT projects and tariff rate control. In this sense, the National Internet will go mainstream late September in a limited or widespread form, depending on financial resources.

Soleimani said that as per the scheduled program, the general framework of this network has been designed and specified and its terminology design will also be completed soon.

He said the detailed designing of the network will be completed by the end of summer and as of September the National Internet will go on mainstream.

"Of course, depending on the allocated funds for the project, it might either be in a limited or widespread form. Based on the schedule, the network will reach its maximum efficiency within the next two or three years."

On the nomenclature he said, "National Internet is just a name that might possibly change later. Since this particular network is easier for people to surf, we have chosen this name as we think it is sophisticated."

To make the network operational, cheap internet access will be provided to the subscribers. Issues such as security and data protection inside the country will also become a reality with the commencement of the National Internet. Other advantages are the huge amount of data that can be safely stored in a sustainable and continuous way.


On the quality of mobile phone network, the ICT minister said that the network has been designed in seven stages, each by an independent group.

"The problem in Tehran is much more complex than in other areas.

Iranian contractors are not up to the mark and the truth of the matter is that they are not experienced and technically prepared to carry out their duties in mobile networking."

On training schemes to Iranian contractors in provinces he said, "We sent a directive to the provinces asking them to provide training to their local contractors with the help of provincial communication companies." According to Soleimani, a dynamic mobile phone network is among issues that has direct impact on the quality of the network.

"This network is dynamic per se and should be monitored round the clock. Another important issue which undermines the quality of the network is the breakdown of BTS sites.

At times the breakdowns make it difficult for subscribers to get through the phone. Some of the local contractors want to improve the networks but they are pretty slow and the quality of their work is not impressive either."

Another problem is erecting mobile phone masts, he said, adding that while most mobile phone masts have been erected on top of buildings and residential units in other countries, in Iran people are not willing to follow suit.

This has meant higher costs and time consumption, as well as lower speed in network development.

However, the quality of the network is expected to improve by the end of this summer.


On the performance of IranCell, the company in charge of operating the second mobile phone network, Soleimani said the firm is allowed to distribute its SIM cards in cities such as Qom, Tabriz and Tehran by the end of summer or early autumn.

"Distribution of Irancell SIM cards will largely depend on the performance of its contractors and the way it is going to become operational. The commencement of the work is the most important part of the project as this will help facilitate Irancell go mainstream. Of course, ICT will also control and supervise its overall performance." TCI SHARES

With regard to sale of shares to subscribers of the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), Soleimani said the matter is under scrutiny.

"This is because efforts are being made to ensure it is in line with Note C of Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution. ICT might reach a conclusion within the next four months."

He added, "The general policy of ICT is to reduce service tariffs, predominantly on SIM cards. ICT hasn't proposed any plan to increase tariffs this year or in the coming year." With regard to the implementation of the third mobile phone network, he said the third operator will have to start its work two years after the second operator goes on mainstream.

Research has been undertaken on this particular matter and hopefully the second operator will start work by next year.

The minister also said that filtering practices is basically a correct measure as it exists in certain fields such as electricity, chemical and computer. "However, the main purpose of filtering is to get rid of incorrect and junk data. Filtering will help provide accurate and correct information to the general public. The system of filtering is indeed a necessary principle and it is essential to have such knowledge.

Filtering also serves as a means to protect data and launch electronic wars. Therefore, it is crucial to create a positive mentality for it inside the country and also punish those who might want to exploit it."

... Payvand News - 8/3/06 ... --

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