Afghanistan Archives — Page 2 of 2


Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has launched per-second billing on its GSM network.   In a press briefing at its Kabul headquarters, AWCC Managing Director, Amin Ramin said: ” We have ensured Microwave connectivity, widest coverage in the country, simple call rates, amazing call quality, superb connectivity even on highways, and today we are announcing the Per Second Billing PLUS for the entire Afghan Wireless family.”  Afghan Wireless is the largest private investor in Afghanistan. It is also the country’s largest employer, having nearly 3,000 people directly in the payroll and another 30,000 indirectly. 
United Arab Emirates company Etisalat began operating in Afghanistan on Wednesday becoming the fifth mobile phone service provider and one of the biggest foreign investors.   With an investment of $300 million, Etisalat’s mobile phone network will initially cover Afghanistan’s main cities. Etisalat, the third-largest Arab telecom firm by market value, joins four other telecommunication companies operating in the country.   These companies have invested some $800 million in the Afghan telecoms sector and the government has earned $100 million from them in the past year in tax and from issuing licences. Read more.

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.
The Aga Khan Foundation is the owner of Afghanistan’s first mobile operator, Roshan.   It is surprising that this social investment has not received a quarter of the publicity received by Grameen Phone in Bangladesh. Do Business and Islam Mix? Ask Him – New York Times Roshan has 1.3 million subscribers and is adding 60,000 a month.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (bdnews24.com) — Telecom Development Company Afghanistan reached the mark of one million mobile subscribers on October 30. With the brand name “Roshan” or light, the second mobile operator rolled out services in June 2003. “We are very excited and proud of reaching the million subscribers milestone,” said Karim Khoja, chief executive of Roshan. In more than three years, Roshan reached the mark, beating first mobile company in Afghanistan, the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC)— 20 percent owned by the government.
Developing countries have tended to focus on disaster relief and rehabilitation at the expense of strategies to prevent or mitigate effects of disasters in the first place. To a politician, the political payout from handing out relief materials to the disaster affected appears greater than investing in a national early warning system that may not yield any political reward during his/her tenure. Political expediency coupled with a mix of fatalism, laziness to undertake the hardwork required to implement mitigation/prevention strategies, low valued assigned to human life in developing countries have all contributed to the callous acceptance of natural disasters as a “fact of life.” Hence, the allusion to a “paradigm shift” referred to by the Indian minister, hopefully marks a policy shift rather than just a rhetorical one. ———— India, others work on region’s first disaster management policy The Hindu, August 22, 2006 New Delhi, Aug 22.
Bridging the digital divide is important. It may not be as important as ensuring safe water for all, or adequate healthcare, in terms of meriting investment of scarce public resources, but it is definitely important enough to merit concerted action to remove the artificial barriers to private supply. One of the best ways this can be done is by improving the knowledge that is brought to bear on the process.   The optimal way to achieve this is to create an environment within which international best practices are adapted to local circumstances by in-situ policy intellectuals. Some of these local experts could be in regulatory agencies and in government; but the optimal results will be achieved through participatory processes where all stakeholders, including the consumers are represented by knowledgeable experts.
A report on the Indicators Workshop held in New Delhi by LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is available here [PDF]. The report provides a review of international initiatives and best practices, examines some of the difficulties regarding standardising indicators across the region, the challenges of measurement and collection of indicator data and the process of developing an indicators manual for the South Asian region.
LIRNEasia and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with the assitance of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, co-sponsored the “Workshop on ICT Indicators for Benchmarking Performance in Network and Services Development” in New Delhi from 1-3 March 2006. The workshop highlighted the need for accurate, standardized and comparable indicators for the region and was intended to initate action to develop such indicators. The workshop brought together representatives of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) and operators from Afghanistan, Bangaldesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka along with the foremost authorities on the subject from the ITU, OECD, and the US National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI). With nearly 60 participants from 16 countries, the Workshop was also attended by telecom researchers from the Asian region. The three day workshop was intended to elicit the cooperation of representatives from NRAs, NSOs and industry associations from the regional countries in establishing a sustainable system for measuring and benchmarking ICT sector input and output indicators for South Asia that can be extended to developing Asia.

What is LIRNEasia?

Posted on September 19, 2004  /  3 Comments

a speech by Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva In one of my intemperate moments I’ve said that Asia is a category that is of use only to international bureaucrats. There is little that the entire region holds in common. This is the area that has the largest concentration of poor people in the world. Asia is seen, however, as driving the world economy. The Asian Tigers, and the Juggernauts of China and India.

Why LIRNEasia?

Posted on September 2, 2004  /  0 Comments

Provisional Mission Statement: Improving the lives the people of Asia – by making it easier to use the information and communication technologies they need; by changing the laws, policies and regulations to enable those uses; by building Asia-based human capacity through research, training, consulting and advocacy. Why LIRNEasia? Enormous amounts of money are invested annually in ICTs. The potential of information and communication technologies, or ICTs for economic and social progress is substantial. ICTs aren’t necessarily the answer to higher incomes and development in itself; but together with other factors, they provide a means to improve people’s capabilities and knowledge so that they may better their lives.