Officials from Iran’s ICT Ministry met with their counterparts from Turkey on Tuesday to discuss expansion of collaborations in the fields of communications.
A joint committee has been developed by the two countries to bolster cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies, ICT Ministry’s website reported.
Iran’s Deputy ICT Minister Sattar Hashemi met with a Turkish delegation headed by the country’s deputy minister of transport and infrastructure, Omer Fatih Sayan, on Tuesday.
Later in the day, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi joined the gathering.
Communication regulatory issues, spectrum negotiations and joint infrastructure development projects were on the agenda of talks, which are slated to continue into Wednesday.
Hashemi briefed his Turkish counterpart on Iran’s tech and startup ecosystems’ stellar rise over the past few years. He noted that over 87% of Iranians have access to the internet and all Iranian cities have 3G and 4G coverage.
“There are over 4,500 knowledge-based companies in Iran, 25% of which are active in the field of ICT. The sector is estimated to be worth $11 billion,” he said.
According to Hashemi, Iran and Turkey are to collaborate in the fields of space sciences, e-governance and cybersecurity.
The Iranian deputy minister noted that internet exchange points and data centers in the two countries can be connected to boost the availability of communication services.
Other topics discussed by the officials included development and applications of cutting edge technologies like Internet of Things, 5G, blockchain and artificial intelligence.
The Turkish deputy minister said, “Considering the increased application of ICT, through mutual trust, Iran and Turkey would be able to expand their collaborations in the field.”
Just like his Iranian counterpart, Sayan detailed latest developments in Turkey’s tech and telecom sector.
Sayan said Turkey, Iran and Pakistan could work on boosting connectivity by using fiber optic cables.
“Cybersecurity collaborations were high on the Turkish delegation’s agenda,” he said, adding that internet and cyberspace offer too many perks but there are downsides to the technologies. He did not elaborate.
Over the past two decades, as the internet penetration rate grows around the world, state actors have realized that increased access of citizens to internet can loosen their grip on power.
Almost all countries have developed schemes to control, and even curb, the free flow of information, including China’s Great Firewall and Russia’s sovereign intranet or RusNet.