In 2011, the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) launched an initiative to aid members of the Afghan population who did not have access to banking services. It launched a fully owned subsidiary called the Afghan Besim Mobile Money Company (ABMMC), which then received a license to do business from AISA and a license to provide mobile money services from Da Afghanistan Bank. Today, ABMMC supports a wide range of mobile-money users, offering services under the My Money brand name.
Because AWCC is the only mobile operator that offers GSM coverage to every province in Afghanistan, the synergy between AWCC and ABMMC has allowed My Money to expand further than its competitors. The My Money services, which range from sending and receiving funds to paying salaries and merchants, were designed to fit the needs of rural and urban Afghans alike. ABMMC specifically hopes to reduce the reliance of underserved markets on unregulated systems of money transfer and grow its subscriber base until it mirrors that of AWCC as a whole.
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.
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.
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.