Vodafone has partnered up with an Iranian ISP in order to help them improve their local networks. This effectively makes them the first large Western firm to target the Iranian market after the US made it easier for American companies to do business in the Islamic Republic.
On Tuesday, Vodafone announced that it plans to collaborate with HiWEB, a small, privately-owned operator in Iran. Together, they will be modernising the IT infrastructure and expanding their range of services intended both for personal as well as business use.
At the moment, the details remain unknown, as Vodafone has opted against disclosing them.
This month, the US Treasury made it easier for Iran to trade in US dollars, which increased the potential number of business partners in Iran for non-American investors. This is a huge opportunity for anyone seeking to do business in Iran.
According to Vodafone’s spokesman, the recent lifting of trade restrictions is helpful, but the main reason lies in January’s lifting of international sanctions.
Currently, Iran has a population of 80 million people, which makes it an attractive market for Western entrepreneurs. Since the lifting of sanctions, a large number of foreign investors have entered the market, including Airbus Group SE, Boeing Co., Siemens AG, as well as Groupe PSA, the Peugeot-maker.
Tuesday’s move by Vodafone is essentially a big vote of confidence.
HiWEB was launched in 2003 and privatised in 2009. In 2010, the company underwent an overhaul, and received a license to provide mobile data in 2014. According to Vodafone’s spokesman, HiWEB is 100% owned by the Miri family.