Sony is negotiating with Iranian state authorities about the introduction of its GSM mobile phones on the Iranian market. The use of such equipment is still relatively low in Iran, and the government has insisted that manufacturers maintain a local presence before being allowed to sell their brands.
Currently France's Sagem, which has an assembly plant in Iran, claims the primary market share.
This year Sony is forecasting regional GSM sales of 50,000, fuelled by its latest model, the WAP-enabled CMD-Z5.
"Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt would form our main markets here, apart from the UAE," said a senior official at the UAE-based Sony Gulf.
“We are hopeful about our chances for an early entry into this potentially huge market," the official added, relating to Iran.
Sony’s move in Iran corresponds with the allocation of 9 million mobile and regular phones, as part of Iran’s Third Development Plan (2000-2004). The number of mobile telephone subscribers is subsequently expected to double, according to the director general of Iran’s Telecommunication Company, in an interview published July 19 by the Iran Daily.
The third five-year development plan was presented to the Majles (parliament) on September 15 by President Mohammad Khatami. It stresses the need to moderate Iran’s dependency on oil revenues, in part by privatizing of the railways, and the tobacco, tea and sugar industries, as well as the post and telecommunications services.
According to Khatami, in order to achieve the 6 percent annual economic growth rate outlined in the plan, there must an 8.5 percent annual investment rise in the private sector, matched by a 5 percent rise in the government sector.
In order to advance such investments, the third Iranian conference on Telecommunication was held in mid-July, under the auspices of the Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone. Participants discussed formulating a common, integrated policy for construction and installation in the telecommunication sector. Fourteen locally based companies participated in an adjoining exhibition, designed to familiarize officials with new telecom products.- (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )