MTN Irancell

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Irancell (2G,3G,4G)
Semi Private
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 2005
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Key people
Alireza Ghalambor Dezfouli
(Chairman and CEO)
Products Landline and Mobile phone, Internet services , broadband and fixed-line internet services, digital television and network services, and global Internet Protocol backbone network

Irancell (Persian: ایرانسل‎‎) is one of the four(IR-MCI,Taliya , Irancell and RighTel) ) mobile phone network operators of Iran.[1] It is 49% owned by the South Africa-based MTN Group.

In August 2014, MTN Irancell Officially got the license for 3G and higher generations from Iran's Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) and started its network for WCDMA in band 2100.[1][2]


On December 3, 2014, Irancell officially launched Iran's first 4G LTE network in nine cities.[3] The License was granted as on a national basis and includes the overall geographical coverage of Iran.

Within a short time after being granted the license, Irancell was able to complete the network operation and roll-out and started test launch of its network on 28 August 2006 (some 9 months after being granted the license). Irancell network was officially launched on 21 October 2006 in Tehran, Tabriz and Mashhad. The network provides the subscribers with an advanced generation of GSM system to enable them get use of EDGE (2.75 G).


MTN Irancell has two shareholders: Iran Electronic Development Company (IEDC) (51%), and MTN International (Mauritius) Limited (49%).

IEDC currently has two key shareholders:[4]



According to Reuters, the company was able to obtain banned U.S. technologies despite imposed sanctions against Iran.[5]

Sunni insult and boycott[edit]

In July 2013, Iran's Sunni community which is the second largest religious group, accused the company of insulting caliph Umar, after he was called "deceived by the Devil" in a competition's question. People in predominantly Sunni Provinces Kurdistan and Sistan & Baluchestan boycotted the company and a Sunni MP voiced their anger in a parliamentary session. Irancell later apologised for the 'unintentional mistake'.[6]

Mobile web pricing[edit]

After Irancell doubled the prices for its mobile web services in December 2014, some angered users started protesting the company via the social media. Subscribers decided to hold a boycott on the company and remove their SIM cards altogether on December 31, 2014.[7]

Subscribers privacy leak[edit]

Irancell has been criticized for its privacy policy. In July 2016, a robot known as MTN Bot leaked data on personal information of millions of Irancell subscribers on Telegram. Irancell did not pledge responsibility for the leakage and accused its rivals for the turmoil caused by the news. On 3 July 2016, Minister of Communications Mahmoud Vaezi told that the data was leaked by an intelligence agent when Irancell handed subscribers' data to an anonymous intelligence agency in Iran upon an inquiry in 2014.[8]


  1. ^ a b "MTN Irancell preparing for 3G launch". TeleGeography. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  2. ^ "MTN Irancell awarded 3G and higher generations License Agreement". 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  3. ^ "MTN Irancell 4G Network Launched Commercially". 2014-12-03. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  4. ^ "Subordinate Companies - Iran Electronic Development Company". Sina Electronic Development Holding Company. Archived from the original on 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  5. ^ Stecklow, Steve; George, Marcus; Westall, Sylvia (June 4, 2012). Michael Williams, ed. "Exclusive: Iranian cell-phone carrier obtained banned U.S. tech". Reuters. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Iran mobile company indicted for "insulting Sunnis"". BBC World Service. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Subscribers turning Irancell off?". Shargh (in Persian) (2198). 30 December 2014. p. 15. 
  8. ^ "Irancell Data Leak Raises Security Questions". Financial Tribune. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016. 

External links[edit]