The Telecoms and Internet sectors in Afghanistan have been a major success story, according to a new report from Internews, The State of Telecommunications and Internet in Afghanistan: Six Years Later, written by Javed Hamdard. By 2012 the telecoms sector had been able to attract investment of over $1.8 billion, up from $600 million in 2006. It has generated over 110,000 direct and indirect jobs and has become on the of the largest revenue generators for the central government.
Today there are six active Telecom providers and 44 licensed internet service providers. Teledensity has reached 64 per cent and 85 per cent of the population live within range of a mobile phone mast. In total there are more than 17 million mobile phone subscribers, compared to less than two million in 2006. The total number of internet users is estimated at more than a million - about four per cent of the population.
Coming soon is the completion of the national fibre-optic backbone - a $130 million project that will lay 4810km of cable linking 23 provincial capitals and also linking to five neighbouring countries. Almost 3,000kms has already been completed.
The massive expansion of mobile phones has also resulted in a huge drop in costs, which have fallen from 18Afs a minute in 2003 to 3Afs in 2012.
Lots of useful information in this informative report.