Vodafone Group announced a partnership with Iranian ISP Hiweb, in another example of a western firm moving into the country after the lifting of sanctions.
The non-equity deal will see Vodafone backing Hiweb in the rollout and modernisation of its infrastructure for both fixed and mobile services for consumers and enterprises.
The services will be offered under the Hiweb brand, the announcement said. There is no mention of leveraging the Vodafone name, with the agreement focusing on its commercial and technical expertise.
And the operator will also back Hiweb in marketing, distribution and sales, including the launch of Internet of Things services in Iran.
Meanwhile, the Iranian ISP will support Vodafone’s multinational customers operating in the country.
Diego Massidda, chief executive for Vodafone Partner Markets, said its corporate customers will get access to a good-quality local network in the country, including in rural areas.
In terms of other foreign operators having a local presence, Orange is in talks with MCI, the country’s largest operator, about a potential equity stake, as well as a commercial and technical agreement, it was reported earlier this summer.
MTN Irancell is the second largest player in the country’s mobile market. The South African group’s involvement predates the lifting of sanctions.