Institutional Analysis of USSD Technology Development and Application in Iran

Document Type : Research Article (Original Article)


1 Assistant Professor, Institute for Science and Technology Studies, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Msc in Technology Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Msc Student of Science and Technology Policy, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


Mobile phones utilize multiple technologies in order to provide services for users. USSD, is one of the most used technologies, which has been used by mobile phone users in recent years. The aim of this paper is to analyze evolution of its development and application in Iran from 2011 to 2021 by an institutional approach. Moreover, this study includes analysis on how institutional players influenced USSD technology development and utilization. Findings are categorized into four periods of introduction to the market, growth through the market, limitations and challenges, and stagnation. Each period is analyzed from practical, policy, business, economic and political aspects. To collect data, 10 experts were interviewed. Besides, documents, reports, events, media news, rules and regulations related to the USSD were analyzed. Findings indicate that over the first and second period, institutions and players have positive impact on scaling up the application of technology in the market. However, in the subsequent periods, USSD technology negatively affected by central bank restrictive regulations and reorientation of banking and payment service providers, resulting from a new powerful alternative namely mobile internet. Findings also present policy suggestions and implications for policy-making on how face new technologies as well as future research avenues for policy researchers.


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