52 percent of Afghan homes have mobiles; more than the 41 percent that have TVs

Posted on January 5, 2011  /  2 Comments

Good data is hard to come by in Afghanistan. In addition to some data (this below from an Asia Foundation demand-side survey), the report emphasizes the need to encourage mobile money remittances and the availability of agri-market prices.

Nine years ago, Afghanistan had between 10,000 and 20,000 fixed lines, and mobile telecommunications were virtually nonexistent. Since then the country has seen explosive growth in mobile subscribers, network providers, and physical infrastructure. The total number of subscriptions is approximately 13 million for a total population of roughly 29 million people, and the annual growth rate of subscription is estimated at 53 percent (2009–10).2 A 2009 Asia Foundation survey found that 52 percent of households had mobile phones (compared to 81 percent for radio, 41 percent for television, and 6 percent for computers). Moreover, 44 percent of rural households reported having a mobile phone, and 11 percent of those surveyed said they used short message service (SMS) to receive news and information about current events at least once a week.


  1. It’s much higher than 42% mobile penetration of Bangladesh. Cellular News said, “A number of factors have fueled this dramatic increase, including the sheer popular demand for communication, an absence of viable landline substitutes, government deregulation, and a competitive market that flourishes despite the conflict.”