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Iranian broadcaster said to be withholding 5G spectrum

24 Apr 2020

Iran’s state-run TV broadcaster is reportedly refusing to cooperate with authorities to release spectrum for future 5G services. A report from Radio Farda says that Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has permits for 5G-capable 700MHz and 800MHz frequencies which are not being used, but it is not cooperating with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) to free the spectrum for reallocation to cellcos. ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Jahromi is quoted as saying: ‘We’ve been trying to get hold of the frequencies for three years … but they have not cooperated.’

The Iranian government has imposed severe restrictions on internet use in the past, encouraging users to instead access a state-controlled national intranet service which carries sanctioned content and is separate from the World Wide Web. For many years, internet connectivity was throttled to narrowband speeds for most users, while the main cellcos MCI and MTN Irancell had to wait until September 2015 before being permitted to launch 4G wireless networks.

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