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Rightel’s 3G exclusivity extended to September 2014

14 Feb 2013

Iran’s first W-CDMA/HSPA mobile network operator Tamin Telecom (Rightel) has had its exclusivity in the country’s 3G market extended by a further year to September 2014, a report from Iranian news website confirms. The report also quotes Rightel’s CEO claiming that the company is well ahead of its 3G licence’s coverage obligations, as it has established a network presence in ‘all provincial capitals and a total of 45 cities’, compared to a stipulation that it must cover eight cities in its first year, although without confirming how many areas currently have live coverage. The company also claimed that early network shortcomings have been resolved – noting that the technical problems meant that 3G services were initially provided free of charge, and that because of this a two-year exclusivity period on commercial (paid-for) 3G services effectively began in the third quarter of 2012. Contrary to previous rumours, a French company has not taken an ownership stake in Rightel, which is a subsidiary of Iran’s Social Security Investment Organisation. The cellco has used Sofrecom, part of the France Telecom-Orange group, as a telecoms consultancy. Rightel’s network rollout plan calls for 60% 2G and 40% 3G coverage by 2014; the company website suggests that its 3G network is capable of supporting transmission speeds of 42Mbps over a HSPA+ platform. In October 2010 the Communication Regulation Agency (CRA) announced that the cellco’s 3G exclusivity had been extended for a further three years (ending October 2013) to allow it to fully establish itself, before the latest move to extend the period by another year.

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