Telecommunication in Iran, started via commissioning of the first telegraph line between Tehran and Chaman Soltanieh  (Nasseredin Shah’s summer resort near Zanjan) in 1857, almost 14 years after the invention of the service by Mr. Morse.

Second phase of telecommunication expansion began with installation of the first telephone line in Iran in 1890, some 12 years after its invention, however, the development of the telephone network started in 1941.

Facts and Stats:


Iran’s telecom market was the fourth-largest market in the region at $9.2 billion by the end of 2009, and is expected to be grown to $12.9 billion by 2014 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.9 percent. The number of graduates of related fields with ICT shows that human capital in ICT sector has been grown well in the country.

The table below indicates the number of subscribers to telecom services (million):

Number Penetration Rate
Fixed-line telephony 30,262,157 38.24%
Mobile active subscribers 75,983,528 96.46%
Mobile and fixed Broadband subscribers 27,923,665 35.44%


Iranian Companies have made a strong profit in the industry. The average rate of return on investment was 33.4% for 2014.

5 out of IMI100 (100 most valuable Iranian companies) are in ICT sector.


There are 3 main mobile operators which hold the major share of mobile network in Iran in terms of mobile users.

Hamrah-e-Avval (Also known as Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran) started its activities in 1993, its market share equals to 57.15%.

In 2003, in order to break the monopoly in this sector, Irancell, which is a joint company with MTN (an African head quartered company), received its activity permission from communications regulatory authority (CRA). Irancell has a 40.15% share of Iran’s mobile market.

Also in 2011, Rightel received the license as the third-operator of Iran from CRA, and its market share is 2.69%.



In Iran demand for smartphone is increasing and the penetration rate of smartphones was 52% at the end of 2015. It is expected that it will accelerate in upcoming years just like other countries.

Abundant number of phone-based startups set up in Iran during the recent years. A considerable number of these startups are successful in their field and they were able to attract both foreign and domestic investors to invest on their activities and projects.

Due to the fact that application’s startups are not reach their maturity and there are numerous samples around the world which are still unknown in Iran, working on these apps in order to localize them for Iran can highly benefits the investors in this field.