Afghan cell-phone use booming

Posted on August 29, 2007  /  0 Comments

About 150,000 people subscribe to cell phone service each month in Afghanistan and there’s “no end in sight” to the growth, the country’s communications minister said Tuesday. 

Afghan economy is predominantly rural, and trade and industry are badly hampered by crumbling roads and chronic electricity shortages. Not including the illicit trade in opium, the nation’s few exports include dried fruit and carpets. 

But like in other developing nations, cell phone service providers have been doing brisk business, bringing communication to poor villagers who until four years rarely, if ever, used a telephone. 

“In Afghanistan, the majority of our people will be connected through mobile phones,” Sangin told The Associated Press. “… We have gone straight into the age of personal communication.” 

Calling rates are currently about 10 cents a minutes, with the cheapest phone cards on sale for the equivalent of $1. Coverage is generally available in all the country’s 34 provinces. Read more. 

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