Iran’s newest cellular operator says it expects to have 50% population coverage by March next year. Irancell, which is backed by MTN of South Africa, launched towards the end of October in Tehran, Mashhad and Tabriz. Local news portal Taliya reports that the firm’s GSM network now covers the whole of Tehran, while systems in Karaj and Sari have been deployed and are ready to be switched on. 70 cities will be covered by March 2007.
Taliya also reports that the country’s dominant cellular operator TCI is expecting to see its own subscriber growth slow down following the launch of Irancell. The new operator has introduced cheaper pre-paid packages, which cost around IRR1.5 million (USD150).