Irancell Background

In line with implementation of the Third Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plan of Iran and for realization of Article 124 of the same, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology held a tender for the Second Operator in September/October 2003 with the aim of developing communications and telecommunications through privatization and foreign investment. This attempt was made to encourage foreign investment, facilitate participation of the local private sector, promote competition, ensure healthy competition, minimize government involvement, monitor the tariffs and services quality and protect the consumers’ rights.

After completing the tender formalities and reviewing the bids, MICT announced Irancell consortium as the winner of the tender for the Second Operator on 16 February 2004.

Once the Law on Authorization of License Agreement for Mobile and Network Services was approved by the Parliament as well as the Guardian Council, Irancell was granted the Mobile Communications Network and Services (GSM) License by MICT on 27 November 2005. It is noteworthy that the License is valid nationwide and it has been granted for full geographical coverage.
Within a short time after obtaining the License, MTN Irancell managed to complete the network operation and roll-out. Therefore, it started pilot commissioning of its network on 28 August 2006, only 9 months after obtaining the License. Finally, Irancell network was officially launched on 21 October 2006 in Tehran, Tabriz and Mashhad.

Engaging experienced local and international experts, MTN Irancell managed to develop its network within a short time and provide quality services nationwide based on the international standards. Irancell managed to provide its subscribers with 2.75G (EDGE) during that period of time enabling the subscribers to enjoy “Mobile Internet”.

In line with expanding its market share and developing its products and services, Irancell managed to provide customers with WiMAX service as of 28 February 2009 when the License for provision of fixed internet service (WiMAX) was granted to Irancell.

Irancell managed to obtain the National TD-LTE License on 26 August 2015 for the first time in Iran, following which the geographical and technological restrictions of WiMAX License were removed.

Moreover, on 05 August 2014, Irancell succeeded to obtain the License for the pilot launch of 3G and 4G mobile Internet and a short while after that 3G and 4G were commercially launched nationwide on 26 August 2014.

Irancell launched 4G/LTE for the first time in Mashhad on 20 November 2014, shortly after its global launch, and very soon expanded it throughout the country.


During its several years of activity, Irancell with an increasing effort to improve its infrastructures, succeeded to obtain the following licenses from Communications Regulatory Authority in order to provide better services to the customers.