According to Irancell Public Relations, a complete (end to end) network consisting of 5G radio and core network has been tested for the first time in Iran, on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at the course of the 5G Economic Opportunities Forum attended by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, MTN Irancell Managing Director, Iran Ericsson CEO, Swedish Ambassador to Tehran, and a number of deputies and managers of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Irancell and Ericsson companies.
31.5 million people are using Irancell 3G and 4G
Reviewing the company’s network development trend, Irancell Managing Director, Alireza Ghalambor Dezfuli said: Irancell's 2G network has 86% population coverage, that is 3373 towns and villages and 49.5 million subscribers.
He continued: currently 31 million 3G-enabled handsets are being used in Irancell network and 2,549 cities and villages are under 3G coverage with 23 million subscribers using Irancell 3G services.
According to Dezfouli the number of mobile phones supporting Irancell’s fourth-generation network equal 11 million. He also noted 1,565 cities and villages are under 4G coverage and 5.5 million subscribers are using Irancell 4G.
Irancell CEO announced that 250,000 subscribers are using Irancell TD-LTE and this service is available in 159 cities. More than 366 cities are also under Irancell 4.5G coverage.
Irancell subscribers utilize a bandwidth of 363 Gbps
Comparing the global data usage trend with that of Irancell during the past three years (2014 to 2017) Dezfouli reiterated: over the past three years we experienced 33.5 times more data consumption in Irancell network compared to the 3 times more usage worldwide.
Irancell CEO continued the daily data usage was 90 terabytes in September 2014 calculated from the beginning of the launch of broadband network, which increased to 3.013 terabytes in 16 September 2017 within three years only. Irancell mobile data growth per person increased by 27 times in addition to a 58 times growth in the daily mobile data traffic.
He also added the latency has dropped by 20 times, saying that Irancell subscribers have experienced up to 100 times faster speeds.
Dezfouli reported 15 Gbps bandwidth usage for Irancell subscribers in September 2016 that increased to 363 Gbps in September 2017. Accordingly, analyzing Irancell data usage per person, Dezfouli announced a 10 times increase in 4G a 4 times increase in 3G network.
Restating that Irancell has been nominated as TIC’s first and only customer in rolling out Iran’s 5th and 6th international gateways in Ahwaz and Isfahan, Irancell CEO said that this company is ready to establish new gateways in cooperation with TIC reiterating that with Irancell, we had a 0 to 23 Gbps increase in the traffic growth in Ahwaz and 0 to 25 Gbps increase in Isfahan resulting in a mitigated lag and an improved customer experience.
75 Times Increase in Local Content Traffic
Dezfuli also said that after the separation and reduction of local traffic tariffs and imposing the half-price tariffs for local contents and websites, the costs of subscribers has decreased by 600 billion Rials.
Irancell Managing Director also added: it is anticipated that some 7 trillion Rials will be saved by subscribers within one year from the start of the project in total local traffic.
Referring to the supports offered to local content production, he said Irancell has increased the local content providers’ traffic by 75 times to date.
The 2.4 times growth in using 4G handset
Regarding Irancell broadband internet and smart phones, Alireza Ghalambor Dezfuli said: the 4G-enabled handsets being used in Irancell network incased 2.4 times between August 2016 and August 2017. According to this report, Irancell 4G network is being used by 11 million handsets at the moment.
Irancell CEO also announced that there are32 million 3G-enabled handsets in Irancell network.
He also added, the growth in the number of 2G users in Irancell was 6 percent, with 27 percent for 3G users and 218 percent for 4G users over the past year.
My Irancell Self-care Application
Speaking about Irancell's self-care application – MyIrancell – Dezfouli emphasized on the clarity of the subscribes’ payable amounts in the app and added that there are 6.3 million active MyIrancell users.
He continued that Irancell subscribers can use this application or its web version (my.irancell.ir) to have access to some efficient services such as line operation details, itemized bill, internet package purchase and internal and external traffic separation.
Irancell is Iran’s greatest data operator
Referring to the announcement by the then ICT minister in the press conference held on 19 July 2017 calling Irancell, Iran’s greatest data operator, Alireza Ghalambor Dezfuli stated that Irancell has the most complete data link technology 2G GPRS / EDGE / 3G / LTE / LTE-A (4G / 4.5G) / LTE_TDD / NB-IoT and the highest used bandwidth of over 363 Gigabits per second.
He continued, the largest number of smartphones (32 million phones) are utilizing Irancell network and we have the greatest share of data usage in the country, which is more than 3,013 terabytes per day.
Reporting the mentioned statistics, Irancell's CEO also announced that this company has the highest number of 4G and 4.5G users (8.7 million people) and the largest number of active data subscribers that is 30 million.
5G in Line with the Resistive economy
Referring to 1404 horizon and Development Prospects in Line with the Resistive Economy Document, restated the document’s components as: creating a dynamic atmosphere, improving the macroeconomic indicators, the ability to withstand threatening factors, reliance on local capacities, jihadi approaches, focusing on the people, the security of strategic and essential elements, reduction of dependency on oil industry, etc.
Irancell's Chief Executive Officer addressed the company's strategies as quantitative and qualitative data network development and maintaining and improving the current status of Irancell in this area, developing Irancell's network as the fastest access layer to the National Information Network and the maximum use of the platforms created to meet the goals of e-Government to grow content production and develop service delivery (payment, education, health, transportation, etc.), the development of the IOE / IOT as intermediary between network and market needs, direct investment in active companies in order to accelerate market and home market growth and full support of the internet-based start-ups from the day they start until they enter the market officially.
He then added: in order to achieve the above goals and get ready for the revolution that will happen globally and in Iran once 5G enters ICT and in order to better benefit from the past experiences regarding 3G and 4G networks, while simultaneously developing its data network from 2016, Irancell began the necessary measures and studies to maintain its coherence with the global trend and in addition to reviewing the summary of the role of 5G in the economy of the country, tested an End-to-End 5G network in cooperation with Ericsson.
Iran’s first full 5G network test carried out by Irancell
Irancell Core Network Planning General Manager – Arash Behgoo – explained the 5G network standards, saying: according to 3GPP standards, the average speed, maximum speed, network capacity, spectrum efficiency, energy usage efficiency, mobility, delay and user density have some standards that canoe be achieved in 4G network.
Presenting the 5G road map, he added that Iran is one of the few countries that followed the global standard and could test a full 5G network between 2017 and 2018.
“76 percent of the world's largest operators have tried to fully test the 5G network, but just some of them have been successful. Irancell has been one of the successful companies in this regard”, said Behgoo.
Irancell Core Network Planning General Manager referred to some advantages of the 5G network such as faster speeds, lower delays, higher user densities and numbers, more sustainable network and said that these benefits would lead to critical services management, faster access to broadband everywhere and the massive use of the internet of things.
On 5G usage he also added that this technology can be of great help on health, e-government, transportation, energy and financial issues and it is anticipated that in the year 2035, 5G would have a $ 16 trillion effect on the world economy.
Also, regarding the industrial IoT ecosystem he continued: according to the forecasts, by 2020, more than 220 billion sensors and 38.5 billion devices will be using this generation.
He also continued, by 2020, about 85 percent of the world's top companies will provide a general API and mobile apps will have a download rate of up to 300 billion times. By this year, the volume of data consumed would be up to 2.4 exabytes per month.
World-class technologies are operational in Irancell
Explaining the structure of the test which leads to the experimentation operation of the first 5G network in Iran, Behgoo said in this experimental operation, Irancell uses a 800 MHz carrier in the 15GHz band and 5G techniques such as Massive MIMO, Beam Forming and Beam Tracking, to achieve a remarkable speed of 23Gbps.
Irancell Core Network Planning General Manager continued, considering the saturation of low frequencies, it is expected that using 5G at higher frequencies, paves the way for carrying MBB traffic.
Using the Massive MIMO technique, the 5G will increase the frequency utilization by up to 5 times, he added.
Referring to the event that took place in Irancell this July, Behgoo said: we were able to commercially rollout the core of the NB-IoT cloud network on the 5G platform, and the NFV/ SDN-based cloud core and test the rollout of the first radio network based on 5G techniques, and now with the world class technology, we have been able to display the latest generation technologies for the first time in Iran.
Irancell is ready to partner with the Ministry of Communications to define the requirements of the 5G network
Alireza Ghalambor Dezfuli continued that Irancell is ready to cooperate with the Ministry of Communications to define the requirements and hold a permanent exhibition of 5G's role in realizing the goals mentioned above, as a space for the interaction of ideas provided to the activists in this area.
He said: setting, defining and implementing standards for the implementation of 5G in the country, reviewing the 5G execution requirements to prepare and adapt this technology (Spectrum, Fiber, Site Concentration, Infrastructural Developments, Urban and Road Construction Requirements in the country, etc.), defining the legal space required and forecasting the required support and financial and commercial incentives by the government and preparation of the business environment, including the government, the private sector and all the business enterprises, are among the items that can be considered.