Business VoIP Featured Article

Iran's Shatel VoIP Restored

January 12, 2017

By Frank Griffin, Contributing Writer

Although IP communications have introduced a relative degree of freedom in many parts of the world, there are still some countries that have strict control over how citizens use this technology. Case in point is the recent block of the VoIP service of Iran's largest privately owned ISP, Shatel by the country's Telecommunications Company Iran (TCI). Details of the incident are limited, but suffice it to say the service was stopped without any warning to Shatel and its customers.

As reported by Financial Tribune, the service was interrupted three days after Shatel launched its VoIP service on December 26, 2016. According to the report, subscribers were barred from calling regular landline phones through Shatel’s VoIP service. The dispute between TCI and Shatel was resolved when the the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology and the Communication Regulatory Authority (CRA) got involved.

After Shatel filed a complaint to the CRA, the company announced the problem had been solved on January 7, which reestablished the cross-network service so it could continue providing its VoIP services.

According to the Financial Tribune, this dispute comes at a time when the CRA is looking to increase the number of private companies operating in Iran. After the lifting of the economic sanctions, Iran has been receiving investment across all segment of industry. This will be a hard fight for the CRA as TCI wields a lot of influence because it has a monopoly on telephone lines, requiring new operators to use its infrastructure to deliver services.

One of the challenges of VoIP adoption in many developing countries is the systems that are in place. While the technology has been proven worldwide for deliver an affordable alternative to traditional telephone service, the fact that it uses the Internet is proving to be problematic.

Regimes with strict access to the Internet are many of the place in which VoIP is having a hard time establishing or increasing its presence. This however is not stopping the global growth in the segment. According to the latest market report published by Persistence Market Research, the global VoIP services market is expected to reach $194.5 billion by 2024, which is a CAGR of 9.5 percent from 2016 – 2024, and more than double the market value of 2015, which stood at $85.9 billion. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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