Ariana Television Network’s 9th Annual ATN Awards in February recognized Afghanistan’s most popular performing artists for their contribution to Afghanistan’s cultural development over the past year. Held in the Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture) in Kuala Lumpur, the event celebrated Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and its role in unifying the country’s global community. Asad Badie, an Afghan entertainer and singer, served as the master of ceremonies for the fourth year. In addition to recognizing current performers, the celebration awarded Lifetime Achievement, Sitara-e-Hunar, and Mardumi honors. This year, ATN introduced the Jawedana Hai Moseqi award, which recognizes an artist’s legacy achievement in Afghan performing arts.
More than 1,000 Afghan artists submitted work for a panel of judges to consider for the ATN awards, and the public voted on the finalists through ATN’s awards website. Ehsan Bayat, ATN chairman, said the event has grown into the “preeminent showcase of Afghan arts and culture” worldwide. This year, more than 45 million television and online viewers were expected to enjoy the show, and more than 800 guests were expected to attend the event, which has become integral to preserving and enhancing Afghanistan’s culture.
Ehsan Bayat, the founder of Ariana Television and Radio and a pioneer in the Afghan telecommunications industry, was honored with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) human rights award in late 2014. Mr. Bayat has made considerable contributions to improving the lives of people who live in Afghanistan’s rural areas, with a focus on assisting to women, young people, and people who are poor or elderly. Dr. Sima Samar, the chairperson of the AIHRC, presented the award in recognition of the 66th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Ehsan and Fatema Bayat founded the nonprofit Bayat Foundation in 2005 to promote the wellbeing of the Afghan people. The foundation has since worked on more than 200 projects, including building infrastructure and promoting health and education programs. Ehsan Bayat said that he was honored to have received the award and emphasized the “critical need” to ensure equal opportunities for people all over the world. He plans to continue supporting human rights education and protecting the rights of all Afghan people.
Afghan Wireless recently introduced improved mobile connectivity for its subscribers in Kabul, implementing 3.75G+ mobile broadband service throughout the city. Additionally, the firm paired its 3.75G+ deployment with a network-wide upgrade to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).
To send and receive information over the Internet, all computers and mobile devices must have an Internet Protocol, or IP address. Under Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), every IP address comprised 32 bits, which allowed for 4.3 billion unique IP addresses and enabled 4.3 billion individual devices to connect to the Internet. Initially released in June 2012 as an update to IPv4, IPv6 is the newest generation of IP developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). IPv6 also represents a significant expansion to the Internet’s address directory.
According to Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist, the number of mobile devices in the world had already surpassed the number of available IPv4 addresses at the time of the upgrade to IPv6.
Additionally, research from Ericsson indicates that the growth in mobile devices is outpacing that of the general population. In 2012, the communications technology company predicted that the number of mobile device subscriptions would exceed the world’s population within five years.
The IETF developed IPv6 in response to the rapidly increasing number of Internet users and devices. IPv6 presents a new method of assigning addresses, using 128 bits rather than 32 bits, and allowing for approximately 340 trillion, trillion, trillion IP addresses.
As the largest telecommunications service provider in Afghanistan, Afghan Wireless Communication Company continuously strives to provide modern, reliable mobile coverage to customers throughout all 34 Afghan provinces. Its technical advancements and improved service offerings have included the launch of BlackBerry Enterprise Service, a comprehensive suite of mobile solutions that combines smartphones with a variety of supportive software and services.
Afghan Wireless implemented the feature in collaboration with Research in Motion, an international developer of state-of-the-art wireless solutions. The cross-platform service facilitates increased mobility and connectivity for professionals, linking wireless mobile devices with wireless networks and business applications to easily store and retrieve a vast array of information. BlackBerry Enterprise Service allows users to easily access their email, calendars, and multimedia, along with numerous other applications for both personal and professional use. Additionally, it integrates with several enterprise email software suites, including IBM, Microsoft Exchange, and Novell GroupWise, and utilizes advanced encryption and a host of other security features to ensure the protection of both personal and professional data.