Communications in Afghanistan
Communications in Afghanistan especially in Kabul has widely developed in last 5 years and many local and international investors have been invested millions of dollars in this sector in the country. The GSM/GPRS mobile phone or cell phone services in the city are provided by several local and international telecommunication providers.
The first telephone provider after the overthrown of Taliban regime in Afghanistan was the AWCC (Afghan Wireless Communication Company) known as: 'Afghan be siem' which has launched in the country by an Afghan investor in 2002
About AWCC cellular provider:
Afghan Wireless Communication Company has launched in Afghanistan by it’s founder Ehasan–ullah Bayat with a mission of reconnecting Afghanistan with the world. Bayat an Afghan immigrant and successful business man in the United States began to realize his dream in 2001. His U.S Company Telephone Systems International .Inc (STI) began seeking equipment vendors willing to build a cellular phone system in a country still emerging from more than two decades of war and conflict. After one year of hard works, the GSM network was inaugurated in April 2002 by President Hamid Karzai with an International call to Germany. Afghan wireless which headquartered in Kabul is the largest provider of telecommunication services in Afghanistan with GSM mobile networks in 34 provinces including hundreds of cities and towns. AWCC is a joint venture between TSI, Inc, and the Afghan Ministry of Communications.
Today Afghan Wireless connects all major cities and towns in the country and is the only operator which has the microwave backbone coverage over 1,560 kilometers in Afghanistan and has over 3,000 direct and 30,000 indirect employees in the country.
The second telecommunication provider in Afghanistan is the ‘Roshan’ which has launched in 2003 and means ‘light’ by Agha Khan Foundation and has widely developed since its establishment.
About Roshan cellular provider:
Roshan which means 'light' is the second telecommunication company that launched in 2003 in Afghanistan and owned by an international consortium of investors led by Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera. Over the three years of service in Afghanistan, the company has reached to one million subscribers milestone, by winning the prestigious Best Operator in Developing Market Award at the 8th World Communications Awards in 2006, which was held in London, U.K. Since 2003 Roshan has invested $372 million on communication sector in Afghanistan. Roshan has directly employed 2.000 employees which %20 (1070) are females as well as providing indirect employment to around 25,000 others who work as dealers, distributors, contractors and suppliers.
Roshan is Afghanistan’s largest taxpayer and has contributed $110 million in taxes to the Afghan government through to the end of 2006. Roshan was short-listed for an award in several categories, namely, Best Brand, Best Mobile Operator and Best National/Regional Operator and has won several awards. Today, Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading cellular telephone service provider, with a countrywide vast network coverage footprint spread out over 33 provinces out of 34 in Afghanistan and over 250 cities and towns. In January 2009 the company has announced that Roshan has reached over three millions active subscribers in the country.
There are several other telephone providers in Afghanistan which as launched recently in last couple years such as: Etisalat, MTN or Areeba and several others. Cell phones, Sim cards and Calling cards can be easily found in any stores in the downtown.
In November 2006, the Afghan telecommunication minister (Amirzai Sangin) has signed a US 64.5 million dollar agreement with a company (ZTE Corporation) for the establishment of a countrywide fiber optical cable network. This will improve telephone, internet, television and radio broadcasting services not just in Kabul but throughout the country for better services. Internet was introduced in Afghanistan in 2002 and has been expanding rapidly in the region.
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