In December 2014, Afghan Wireless became the first telecommunications company in Afghanistan to offer true mobile broadband services. Afghan Wireless Managing Director Amin Ramin expressed confidence that subscribers would quickly notice the improvements, noting that he and his associates are “proud to become the first true mobile broadband provider in the country by the globally-accepted definition of the word ‘broadband.’”
Offering high-speed access and nearly constant connectivity, broadband is the most commonly used method of establishing Internet access. It is available in a number of different types of connections, which may vary based on subscribers’ location and choice of service package.
A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), which uses preexisting, unused telephone lines, offers speeds of between several hundred kilobytes per second (KBps) and millions of bits per second (Mbps). The speed of a DSL broadband connection typically varies based on a home or business’ distance from the telephone company facility or switching station.
Offered by cable TV providers, cable broadband requires a cable modem and coaxial cables. Since users within defined geographic areas share the same bandwidth, cable broadband subscribers may experience speed fluctuations based on network traffic loads.
Broadband providers may also use satellites to deliver Internet services, providing access to remote areas, but at far slower speeds. In contrast, fiber optic broadband connections represent one of the fastest methods of Internet connectivity, transmitting electrical signals in the form of light through extremely fine glass fibers.
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.
Launched in 2002, Afghan Wireless Communication Company has spearheaded a number of significant developments in Afghanistan’s telecommunications industry. The firm has provided innovative services such as MyMoney, its successful mobile currency platform, and has long offered 2G wireless connectivity to approximately 4 million mobile subscribers. Afghan Wireless further expanded its services in December 2014, launching 3.75G+ services in Kabul. This update follows the firm’s recent initiative to redevelop its core and radio network throughout the city, which included the implementation of industry-leading network technologies to better support its mobile broadband service.
Afghan Wireless now stands as Afghanistan’s sole provider of true mobile broadband services featuring Dual-Carrier High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technology. Available at each 3G service site in Kabul, the new technology allows residents to enjoy data download rates as high as 42 Mbps.
Additionally, Afghan Wireless is the country’s only mobile service firm to offer a mobile network operating entirely on Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). The update, which is included in the firm’s latest service deployment, provides a public IP address to all individual and business clients, serving to streamline advanced mobile applications such as file sharing and online gaming.
Afghan Wireless plans to expand its 3.75G+ coverage to Kandahar, Afghanistan, during the first quarter of 2015. Throughout the year, it will continue to introduce its new services in cities across the country.
Since launching Afghan Wireless Communication Company in 2002, chairman Ehsan Bayat has overseen the delivery of wireless and broadband communication services to approximately 4 million subscribers throughout Afghanistan. Additionally, he serves as chairman of the Bayat Foundation, a global nonprofit dedicated to the well-being and advancement of Afghan citizens. In 2010, the telecommunications entrepreneur received commendation for his extensive humanitarian efforts from both the Afghan-California Business Council and Friends of South Asian American Communities.
The two organizations recognized his service to society with the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award, which they presented during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event welcomed a number of prominent community members as guests, including representatives from the offices of Congressman Brad Sherman, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award recognizes values viewed as central to a peaceful and progressive society, as exemplified by the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. The award represents a dedication to achieving civil rights via nonviolent means, as well as a firm opposition to tyranny. Mr. Bayat’s extensive efforts to serve disadvantaged communities throughout Afghanistan have included educational, civic, economic, and health care initiatives that seek to improve quality of life and encourage national growth. In leading the humanitarian activities of the Bayat Foundation, he has spearheaded the development of more than 200 projects, including new schools, orphanages, hospitals, recreational facilities, and religious centers.
Telecommunications firm Afghan Wireless Communication Company began providing service in 2002. In its initial phase, the firm deployed a variety of mobile services to residents of Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. On January 6, 2008, Afghan Wireless expanded its coverage area to include Chaghcharan in Ghor province. The expansion of services to the center of the northern Afghan province represented a significant milestone for the company, allowing it to offer coverage in all 34 Afghan provinces. With service extending to many of Afghanistan’s busiest highways, Afghan Wireless restated its commitment to expanding coverage to additional remote regions throughout the country.
At the time, Afghan Wireless had recently implemented an additional service update in the form of a multimillion-dollar microwave circular system. As the first telecommunications system of its kind in Afghanistan, the 2,500-kilometer network allowed the firm to offer quality mobile services to many of the country’s most remote regions while ensuring improved sound quality and reduced satellite delays. The development also allowed Afghan Wireless to greatly improve its international service, working with 350 communications networks to provide roaming coverage in 124 countries.