Major mobile operators started sharing infrastructure on Thursday as part of efforts to help improve mobile coverage in rural areas.
The two main operators, Mobile Telecommunications Company of Iran (MCI) and MTN-Irancell currently provide communication and data transfer services throughout the country employing thousands of antennas.
While in most areas both MCI and Irancell have antennas, there are areas where their coverage does not overlap. This meant that only subscribers with one operator had access to services. This mostly happened in the rural and underdeveloped areas.
Collaboration between MCI and Irancell is part of a scheme introduced by the ICT Ministry in 2014 named “National Roaming Network”.
Roaming refers to the ability of mobile subscribers to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, when traveling outside the coverage area of their “home network”, by means of using a “visited network”.
For instance, the “home network”, for a subscriber with MCI, is the network established by the mobile operator and the “visited network” is Irancell’s.
ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said on tweeter, “As of Thursday, and following implementation of the National Roaming Network scheme, subscribers who live in areas with poor or no coverage of their ‘home network’ will have enhanced access to services.”