For more than a decade, Afghan Wireless Communication Company has facilitated the delivery of wireless and broadband mobile services throughout Afghanistan. Serving approximately 4 million subscribers, the firm has led the development of the nation’s telecommunications sector, introducing a wide variety of modern mobile services and innovative program offerings.
In 2002, Afghan Wireless began providing service as a joint venture between U.S.-based Telephone Systems International (TSI) and the Afghanistan Ministry of Communications. Launched by AWCC Chairman Ehsan Bayat, TSI played a critical role in the initial development of the company and its mobile network, implementing state-of-the-art telecommunications technologies from several U.S. firms. At the time of its launch, AWCC offered national and international mobile calling, voicemail, text messaging, and data capabilities.
Afghan Interim Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai commemorated the occasion at Afghan Wireless’ official launch ceremony, making the company’s first official telephone call, to a former Afghan resident living in Germany. Engineer and Afghan Minister of Communications Abdul Rahim lauded the launch as a historic event for Afghanistan, praising its ability to open the lines of communication not only among Afghan families, but also between the country and the rest of the world.
Minister Rahim also praised the firm’s launch as a crucial step in the redevelopment of Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure.. The development project initially recruited more than 100 Afghans, in addition to a team of 30 expatriate telecommunications specialists and engineers. At the time, Afghan Wireless had also initiated a partnership with the Ministry of Communications to establish an educational facility that would prepare locals to eventually oversee the administrative and technical operations of the new firm.