Iran Communications - 2021


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 28,954,855

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34.45 (2019 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 118,061,419

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 140.48 (2019 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: challenged by censorship and international sanctions; large, youthful, tech-savvy demographic with unmet demand; state-owned operators provided special offerings for services during pandemic, driving mobile broadband and deployment of 4G to nearly all of the population; government expanding fiber network and preparing for 5G to grow digital economy and smart city infrastructure; importer of broadcasting and computer equipment from UAE and China (2021) (2020)

domestic: 35 per 100 for fixed-line and 142 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions; investment by Iran's state-owned telecom company has greatly improved and expanded both the fixed-line and mobile cellular networks; a huge percentage of the cell phones in the market have been smuggled into the country (2019)

international: country code - 98; landing points for Kuwait-Iran, GBICS & MENA, FALCON, OMRAN/3PEG Cable System, POI and UAE-Iran submarine fiber-optic cable to the Middle East, Africa and India; (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; satellite earth stations - 13 (9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

state-run broadcast media with no private, independent broadcasters; Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the state-run TV broadcaster, operates 19 nationwide channels including a news channel, about 34 provincial channels, and several international channels; about 20 foreign Persian-language TV stations broadcasting on satellite TV are capable of being seen in Iran; satellite dishes are illegal and, while their use is subjectively tolerated, authorities confiscate satellite dishes from time to time; IRIB operates 16 nationwide radio networks, a number of provincial stations, and an external service; most major international broadcasters transmit to Iran (2019)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 58,117,322

percent of population: 70% (July 2018 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 8,771,251

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10.44 (2019 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Iran on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iran 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iran 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.