Two of Iran’s largest private ISPs are to merge to create a bigger challenger to the country’s dominant telco, state-backed Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), and a third company is also considering joining them. HiWEB and Pars Online have announced plans to combine their businesses under the HiWEB name, and the Financial Tribune reports that a third firm – AsiaTech – has held discussions with HiWEB over the possibility of a three-way tie-up.
Operators say they are seeing a decline in revenues as users increasingly turn to high speed mobile services for their internet access rather than fixed broadband solutions. The alternative ISPs say that alone they do not have the funds to roll out networks to challenge TCI’s dominant position, but together they could pool their resources to deploy new high speed infrastructure. In October 2016 HiWEB signed a non-equity partner market agreement with the UK’s Vodafone Group.