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IRAN

  • ضوابط فني استفاده از تجهيزات SRD (تجهيزات مخابراتي برد كوتاه) - Regulations for short-range devices - 42 pages in Persian, adopted 20 November 2006 - Word document or PDF file. Requires Internet Explorer to download. Covers WLANs, 5GHz RLANs, RFID tags, motion detector alarms, wireless microphones, remote controllers for models, etc. This appears to transpose ITU and ETSI standards, but a radio engineer in Tehran wrote us to explain that under these rules, ISM devices not used for communication (e.g. microwave ovens) and low-power devices (like remote controls and alarms) are license exempt while WLANs are licensed.
  • Colorful chart showing Iran's band allocations. Charts for various smaller segments of spectrum can be separately downloaded from this page.
  • Bisim - Shervin Hadinejad's comprehensive website (mostly in Persian) about two-way radio in Iran ("Bisim" is Persian for "wireless telegraphy" or more generally, "radio communication"). Links to specific topical pages: ISM band regulations (includes 5GHz WLANs, cordless phones, etc.); articles about the Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS); an introduction to CB; a news article about FRS, GMRS and CB in Iran; amateur radio; maritime radio; etc. etc.
  • "Digital Review of Iran," by Yahya Tabesh, Mohammad Khansari, Sattar Zarkalam, Khosro Saljooghi, Hassan Motalleb Pour and Parviz Naaseri (translated into English); Chapter 14 of Proceedings of the Meeting & Workshop on Development of a National IT Strategy Focusing on Indigenous Content Development, Tehran, 2-3 October 2004. An Iranian ICT self-assessment.
  • Video interview with cell phone pioneer Martin Cooper, BBC's "Click" programme in Persian - 17 May 2010 (via YouTube).
  • An English translation of the "Articles of Association of [the] Radio Communications and Regulations Organization" (31 July 2005). Established as a subsidiary of the Ministry of ICT, RCRO is responsible for technical aspects of radio, including type approvals, issuing telecom licenses and collecting fees for frequency use. It replaced the General Department of Radio Communication.
  • "The Law of Duties and Powers of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology" translated into English and posted online 17 August 2004. Article 7 says:
    "In order to implement the decisions of the Committee for the Formulation of Communications Regulations and realize the set goals in the area of radio communications, the Organization for the Formulation of Radio Regulations and Communications, affiliated with the Ministry of CIT, will be established through the merger of the Department for Telecommunications Affairs and the Directorate-General for Radio Communications of the Ministry of CIT, utilizing their existing facilities and human resources. Deputy Minister for Communications Affairs will head the new Organization..."
  • Bluetooth page in the Persian Wikipedia.
  • "Seriously Wireless Iran," by Ali Mohammad Ramezani, Mianeh.net (via Middle East Online, 22 February 2008). Apparently, the longer original version of this article in Farsi is online at Mianeh.net, but we have not found it: "One important feature of Bluetooth technology is that it is impossible to track and control, so it creates a safe, private sphere. That's an improvement on text messages, which the Iranian communications ministry can easily monitor... Bluetooth is also used as a vehicle for more harmless activities, such as distributing the latest Iranian and western music, and also as an outlet for the underground music industry. It's also a good way of passing on political news and humour, pieces and pictures not easily accessible elsewhere... At shopping centres, coffee shops, cinemas and in the suburbs, wireless technology is carrying flirtatious chat, jokes and phone numbers. 'Turn on the Bluetooth' is the latest catchphrase among males in Tehran aged from eighteen to twenty-two... All in all, the impact of Bluetooth and other mobile communication systems is much more powerful and extensive than might appear at first sight."
  • According to EPCGlobal's 24 November 2006 update on national RFID regulation in the UHF band, Iran's Communications Regulatory Authority approved new rules in August 2006 for RFID in the 865-868 MHz band, authorizing ERP of up to 2W.
  • Website created for the First RFID Conference in Tehran, 17-18 February 2007. (The lack of a final program schedule and no lists of exhibitors or attendees suggest that this event may not have materialized.)
  • "All About IT In An Interview With Secretary of High Council For Dissemination of Information," CCW Monthly Magazine, July 2004, pages 1 - 10: Ahmoud Oruj-zadeh and Bahman Barzegar speak with Nasrollah Jahangard (in English).
  • "Tehran entirely under wireless Internet coverage," Taliya News, 15 January 2007, in English: "All Tehran districts are now under WiMAX wireless network coverage. According to IRNA, the executive manager of [Laser Company, the] private firm that has launched the WiMAX network over Tehran, Fariborz Nejad-Daadgar, announced here Sunday that launching the service in other provinces of the country, too, would begin in near future... 'Laser Company has the official license for PAP [public access point] data processing and the design and launching of the first WiMAX wireless network is based on 802.16 standard and the ICT Ministry license..."
  • "Fast WiMAX Internet not economical for Iranian family users," Taliya News, 17 January 2007, in English. A follow-up to the 15 January announcement that Tehran is now covered by WiMAX (see above): "Fariborz Najad-Daadgar added in an interview with IRNA's IT reporter that the costs of using fast WiMAX Internet are currently 2.5 to 3 times the costs of using fast ASDL Internet, that would add up to 450,000 rials ($45) per month in addition to an antenna that the user has to buy that costs 4,000,000 rials ($400). He also reiterated, if the home users would apply for the bandwidths over 128 kilobits, they cannot get it in this system..."
  • "Wireless free Internet for visitors of Isfahan in Norouz," Taliya News, 16 March 2007: "Isfahan Municipality's IT & ICT Deputy (FAWA) has provided free access to wireless Internet for Iranian New Year tourists of this historic city..."
  • "100 coffee nets have work permits in Tehran – Syndicate," Taliya News, 4 June 2007 in English. This brief article says 100 internet cafes have work permits in Tehran. An unspecified number of additional cafes without work permits have been warned that they will be shut down by the "Public Places Office of the Disciplinary Forces."
  • "عرضه اینترنت پرسرعت با پهنای باند بالاتر از 128K ممنوع شد" (Internet bandwidth higher than 128K now prohibited by the Islamic regime) in Persian, Iran Press News, 11 October 2006. English translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi: "The Islamic regime has now banned private residences and public locations' access to high-speed internet with a bandwidth above 128K. 'According to FAVA NEWS a letter signed by Mahmoud Khosravi, the director of the radio communications regulatory organization of the Islamic regime to internet companies states: "You are hereby advised that until further notice, offering bandwidth above 128K to all private residences and public locations must be avoided." ' "
  • "Iran bans fast internet to cut west's influence," by Robert Tait, The Guardian, 18 October 2006: "In a blow to the country's estimated 5 million internet users, service providers have been told to restrict online speeds to 128 kilobits per second (kbps) and been forbidden from offering fast broadband packages. The move by Iran's telecommunications regulator will make it more difficult to download foreign music, films and television programmes, which the authorities blame for undermining Islamic culture among the younger generation... The order follows a purge on illegal satellite dishes, which millions of Iranians use to clandestinely watch western television. Police have seized thousands of dishes in recent months..."
  • Apparently this policy of limiting bandwidth also prevents the provision of DSL faster than 128KB/s to home users, resulting in this Persian-language protest petition. When checked on 19 May 2007, the petition against the DSL speed limit had attracted 3,461 signatures.
  • "New bandwidth state directive issued – RCRO director," Taliya News, 10 November 2006 in English: "Head of the country's Radio Communications and Regulations Organization (RCRO) said the new state directive about permitted bandwidths has been issued... The head of RCRO added, 'Universities and other academic centers, research institutes, business companies, industrial townships, public libraries, culture houses, and PAPs, are exempted from the need to abide by the articles of this directive on condition that they would install the required filters.'..."
  • "Cyberdissent: The Internet in Revolutionary Iran" by Babak Rahimi, Middle East Review of International Affairs, 26 September 2003.
  • "Rights Groups Condemn Iran's Internet Crackdown," by Jim Lobe, EurasiaNet, 16 November 2004.
  • "Closing the Cybergates" By Maziar Bahari, Newsweek International, 8 November 2004: "The government is planning to roll out an alternative network, called Shaare'2, that it hopes will eventually close off Iran's Web users to the outside world, and allow in only what the state approves..."
  • "Parliament Research Center Vs Internet Services Law," Taliya News, 2 May 2007 in English: "Parliament's Research Center here Monday criticized depriving [the] private sector of [the] Internet Services Provision, Distribution and Presentation Law, [which the Radio Communications and Regulations Organization (RCRO) released on 23 July 2006, thus ensuring continuation of the] Government's monopoly in that field..."
  • "Tehran to censor messages," Gulf Daily News (Bahrain), 29 April 2007: "Iran's Telecommunications Ministry will start filtering 'immoral' video and audio messages sent via mobile phones, state television reported yesterday. The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, a body set up after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, has instructed the ministry to buy the equipment needed to prevent any misuse of Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)... 'in order to prevent possible misuse of MMS, immoral actions and social problems, the Telecommunications Ministry will filter immoral MMS,' the television said. It did not give details of the techniques it would use to filter such messages, when it would start or how it would define 'immoral' messages..."
  • "Ideological Screening Returns to Iran's Media," by Omid Memarian, 22 December 2005: "...Culture Minister Saffar Harandi declared that to get a license to start a publication would require the applicants to show that their publication is different from existing ones and is thus unique. 'If there are thousands of publications which are all different from each other, then they are fine. Otherwise, even ten are more than needed,' he said, implying that the criteria for granting licenses would be based on the Ministry's determination whether a publication is offering something new, as defined by the government, or not. This is another new for Iran's media. He disclosed that there were over 2,000 applicants at the ministry, while only 5 to 10 applications could be reviewed every month..."
  • "Iran: State Media Control Extends To Provinces, Airwaves," by Bill Samii, RFE/RL Inc., 2 October 2006: "There is no private television in Iran... To get more entertainment and access something other than the official news, many Iranians enjoy watching satellite broadcasts - although possession of the equipment has been illegal since the mid-1990s. Iran's legislature began consideration of a new bill on satellite-reception equipment in the spring. The draft would make producing, importing, or distributing such equipment illegal. It would also authorize the police and the IRGC's Basij to confiscate the equipment... Confiscation of dishes in Tehran got under way in August, and there were reports of confiscations in provincial cities - including Isfahan, Rasht, Sanandaj, and Shiraz - in July..."
  • "Seriously Wireless Iran," by Ali Mohammad Ramezani, 15 January 2008, in English: "One important feature of Bluetooth technology is that it is impossible to track and control, so it creates a safe, private sphere. That's an improvement on text messages, which the Iranian communications ministry can easily monitor... Bluetooth is also used as a vehicle for more harmless activities, such as distributing the latest Iranian and western music, and also as an outlet for the underground music industry. It's also a good way of passing on political news and humour. pieces and pictures not easily accessible elsewhere... All in all, the impact of Bluetooth and other mobile communication systems is much more powerful and extensive than might appear at first sight."
  • "Iranian mobile phones use bluetooth scatternet [to] share videos," television report in English by Martin Ebbing, Deutsche Welle's International Journal (via YouTube), 26 February 2008 (2 minutes 45 seconds).
  • "Iran: Using Technology to Bolsters Women's Movement," by Rochelle Terman, Al Arabiya News, 9 April 2009 (via the Association for Women's Rights in Development): "Next time you find yourself stuck in the crowded subway cars of the Tehran metro system, turn on your Bluetooth. Not only will you find everything from political news to scandalous cartoons of President Ahmadinejad, love letters to pornography, but you will also be exposed to the burgeoning and increasingly techno-clever Iranian women's rights movement... For now, it is almost impossible for the government to monitor [Bluetooth], allowing a kind of freedom of speech rarely seen either during the Shah or since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. And in Iran, anonymity is power. Women's movement activists are becoming increasingly clever with their usage of such technology. For example, they will send a Bluetooth message to any Tehran metro passengers, often carry a subject line labelling the message as pornographic, a creative advertising tool to entice acceptance of the message. While passengers think they are about to view an image of a naked woman or sex act, they will often be surprised to find themselves viewing the latest news on the Iranian women's movement..."
  • "Bluetooth Misuse Increasing," Iran Daily, 14 April 2009: "...'The problem is solvable through effective and constructive teachings. We must find an effective way to teach youths on the negative effects of misusing communication means,' [Mahmood Amani, a sociologist quoted by the government-owned Fars News Agency] said. Amani concluded that schools, universities, the media and news agencies must promote the culture of using technologies, including Bluetooth, appropriately."
  • "Wi-fi standards," Iranian Telecommunications Research Centre (in Persian, 2795kb). The same directory has Persian translations of other papers about advanced wireless technologies.

Middle East - Regional Overview