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Afghanistan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Afghanistan expands its online access as 3G networks roll out

Afghanistan continues to be confronted on the widest possible front by the challenges of moving from a fragile present into a more stable and positive future. By 2015 despite the positive signs of a civil society taking shape, the country was still suffering from the ongoing conflict. After many years of war and civil strife, an encouraging aspect of the country's efforts to rebuild has been the considerable success evident in the creating a functional telecommunications sector virtually from nothing. According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the telecommunications networks covered almost 90% of the population by 2015.

Efforts were made to roll out fixed-line services, but the country's telecommunications services rely heavily on its mobile infrastructure. There were five mobile operators competing in Afghanistan's telecom sector by 2015. Between them they claimed a total of almost 24 million subscribers, with an overall mobile penetration of 75% by that stage. Four of the five were carrying market shares in excess of 20%, while the fifth, Afghan Telecom, was almost irrelevant at that stage with less than 1% of the mobile subscriber base. Indeed Afghanistan has a highly competitive mobile market that continues to flourish despite the background of the ongoing conflict throughout the country. Not surprisingly the mobile sector has been boosted by the absence of effective fixed-line alternatives.

In the meantime, internet penetration remained generally low throughout Afghanistan. With internet access initially relying heavily on dial-up services and an extremely low number of broadband subscribers in place, the online segment of the market was looking for a boost. That boost came in the form of 3G mobile licences. The 3G services being offered by the various operators had been launched in 2013 and were providing a special opportunity for delivering mobile broadband to Afghanistan's population. By mid-2015 there were around two million 3G mobile broadband subscribers in the country; however, this was only 8% of the total mobile subscriber base.

The political and civil stability of the country is a dark cloud hanging over the country; it is of course a particular threat to the effectiveness of the telecommunications network and the viability of the telecommunications sector. Nevertheless, there does appear to be a will to secure the future of telecommunications in Afghanistan.

Key developments:

Afghanistan's mobile market continued on its positive expansion path into 2015;

mobile subscriber growth looked to be ongoing at around 10% per annum in 2015;

mobile penetration has passed 75% under a generally difficult market environment;

mobile coverage (population) had passed 90% according to the MCIT;

five mobile operators have been assigned 3G concessions;

with AWCC launching its 3G network at the start of 2015, all five operators had launched 3G;

some early moves were being made for the adoption of 4G technology;

the country's internet market continues to struggle but steady growth has been evident;

since the major surge in internet users reported by the ITU in 2009/2010, there has been positive growth in internet usage;

the arrival of 3G mobile broadband services has rapidly expanded internet access;

most importantly the price of internet is dropping;

the country's first satellite, Afghansat-1 was launched in 2015 under a strategic partnership with Eutelsat;

on a broader front, the ongoing political and civil unrest continued to be of concern to the country and its people, with any deterioration in the situation certain to have an impact on the telecom sector.

 

Companies mentioned in this report:

Afghan Telecom/Aftel, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.

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Table Of Content

Scope

1. Executive summary

2. Key statistics

3. Country overview

3.1 Background

3.2 Economy

4. Telecommunications market

4.1 Recent developments

4.2 Historical overview

4.3 Market analysis

5. Regulatory environment

5.1 Historical overview

5.2 Regulatory authorities

5.2.1 Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA)

5.2.2 Minister of Communications and Information Technology

5.3 Regulatory developments

5.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

5.3.2 Pakistan-Afghanistan border

6. Fixed network operators

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Afghan Telecom

6.3 Other operators and licences

6.3.1 Afghan Wireless Communications Co (AWCC)

6.3.2 Wasel Telecom

6.3.3 Other licences

7. Telecommunications infrastructure

7.1 Overview of the national telecom network

7.1.1 Background 2000/2001

7.1.2 Background - post major conflict

7.1.3 Fixed-line statistics

7.2 Developments

7.2.1 Optical fibre backbone

7.2.2 Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF)

7.2.3 AWCC's microwave ring

7.3 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)

7.3.1 Satellite services

8. Internet and broadband market

8.1 Overview

8.2 Background

8.3 Statistics

8.4 Forecasts internet subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

9. Internet Service Providers (ISP)

10. Digital economy

10.1 e-Commerce

10.2 e-Government

10.3 e-Health

10.4 e-Education

10.5 e-Banking

10.6 Other digital services

10.6.1 WiFi hotspots

10.6.2 Internet cafes

10.6.3 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

11. Mobile communications

11.1 Market analysis

11.2 Overview

11.3 Mobile statistics

11.3.1 General statistics

11.3.2 Operator statistics

11.3.3 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2015;2017; 2020

11.3.4 Forecasts mobile broadband subscribers 2015;2017; 2020

11.4 Mobile infrastructure

11.4.1 Introduction

11.4.2 Third Generation (3G)

11.4.3 4G / LTE

11.5 Mobile data services

11.5.1 Mobile banking and m-money

11.5.2 Roshan's Malomat service

12. Mobile operators

12.1 Afghan Wireless (AWCC)

12.1.1 Background

12.1.2 Statistics

12.1.3 Developments

12.2 Roshan

12.2.1 Background

12.2.2 Statistics

12.2.3 Developments

12.3 MTN Afghanistan

12.3.1 Background

12.3.2 Statistics

12.3.3 Developments

12.4 Etisalat Afghanistan

12.4.1 Background

12.4.2 Statistics

12.4.3 Developments

12.5 Aftel (Afghan Telecom)

13. Broadcasting market

13.1 Overview

13.2 Digitalisation

13.3 National broadcaster

13.4 Afghan TV

13.5 Herat TV

13.6 Cable TV

14. Related reports


List Of Figure

Chart 1 - Afghanistans GDP real growth rate - 2006 2017

Chart 2 - Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity - 2009 - 2015

Chart 3 - Internet users and penetration - 2010 2014

Chart 4 - Mobile subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2015

Chart 5 - Market share by major operators 2014

Chart 6 AWCC's mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014

Chart 7 - Roshans mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014

Exhibit 1 Awarding of 3G licences by operator and date 2012 - 2014

Exhibit 2 Launch of 3G services by operator and date 2012 - 2015


List Of Table

Table 1 Country statistics Afghanistan 2015

Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014

Table 3 Internet statistics 2014

Table 4 Mobile statistics 2014

Table 5 National telecommunications authorities

Table 6 Afghanistan's GDP real growth rate 2006 - 2017

Table 7 Afghan Telecom - wireline and wireless subscribers 2012; 2014

Table 8 Historical - Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 1994; 2000 - 2008

Table 9 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2009 - 2015

Table 10 Fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers 2011 - 2015

Table 11 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2009 - 2015

Table 12 Fixed-line subscribers wireline and wireless 2014

Table 13 Historical - Internet users 2002 - 2006

Table 14 Internet users 2007 2015

Table 15 Internet users 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010 2014

Table 16 Historical - Internet subscribers 2002 - 2004

Table 17 Fixed internet subscribers 2005 - 2014

Table 18 Fixed broadband subscribers 2005 - 2015

Table 19 International internet bandwidth 2005 - 2015

Table 20 Internet traffic incoming - 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010; 2012 2015

Table 21 Internet price 1Mb/month - 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010 2014

Table 22 Afghanistan - Facebook users and penetration 2012; 2015

Table 23 Forecast - fixed internet subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

Table 24 Mobile subscribers and annual change 2002 - 2015

Table 25 3G mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2013 - 2015

Table 26 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2014

Table 27 Market share by major operators 2013

Table 28 Market share by major operators 2014

Table 29 ARPU by operator 2008 - 2012

Table 30 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

Table 31 Forecast mobile broadband subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

Table 32 AWCC's mobile subscribers 2005 - 2014

Table 33 Roshan's mobile subscribers 2005 - 2014

Table 34 MTN's mobile subscribers 2007 - 2015

Table 35 MTN's ARPU 2011 - 2015

Table 36 Etisalat's mobile subscribers 2007 - 2014

Table 37 Key broadcasting statistics 2014

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Products and Companies

Products

Fixed-line, Broadband, Mobile Broadband, Fiber to the home, Telecommunications infrastructure, Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Long-term Evolution (LTE), Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Mobile TV, Fixed Line Subscribers, MVNO, Number Portability, High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), Mobile content and applications, Broadband access, Regulatory Authority, Mobile infrastructure, Satellite mobile, Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi), Satellite Broadband, VOIP, Video Streaming


Companies

Afghan Telecom/Aftel, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.

Company Profile

Company Profile Title

Afghanistan expands its online access as 3G networks roll out

Afghanistan continues to be confronted on the widest possible front by the challenges of moving from a fragile present into a more stable and positive future. By 2015 despite the positive signs of a civil society taking shape, the country was still suffering from the ongoing conflict. After many years of war and civil strife, an encouraging aspect of the country's efforts to rebuild has been the considerable success evident in the creating a functional telecommunications sector virtually from nothing. According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the telecommunications networks covered almost 90% of the population by 2015.

Efforts were made to roll out fixed-line services, but the country's telecommunications services rely heavily on its mobile infrastructure. There were five mobile operators competing in Afghanistan's telecom sector by 2015. Between them they claimed a total of almost 24 million subscribers, with an overall mobile penetration of 75% by that stage. Four of the five were carrying market shares in excess of 20%, while the fifth, Afghan Telecom, was almost irrelevant at that stage with less than 1% of the mobile subscriber base. Indeed Afghanistan has a highly competitive mobile market that continues to flourish despite the background of the ongoing conflict throughout the country. Not surprisingly the mobile sector has been boosted by the absence of effective fixed-line alternatives.

In the meantime, internet penetration remained generally low throughout Afghanistan. With internet access initially relying heavily on dial-up services and an extremely low number of broadband subscribers in place, the online segment of the market was looking for a boost. That boost came in the form of 3G mobile licences. The 3G services being offered by the various operators had been launched in 2013 and were providing a special opportunity for delivering mobile broadband to Afghanistan's population. By mid-2015 there were around two million 3G mobile broadband subscribers in the country; however, this was only 8% of the total mobile subscriber base.

The political and civil stability of the country is a dark cloud hanging over the country; it is of course a particular threat to the effectiveness of the telecommunications network and the viability of the telecommunications sector. Nevertheless, there does appear to be a will to secure the future of telecommunications in Afghanistan.

Key developments:

Afghanistan's mobile market continued on its positive expansion path into 2015;

mobile subscriber growth looked to be ongoing at around 10% per annum in 2015;

mobile penetration has passed 75% under a generally difficult market environment;

mobile coverage (population) had passed 90% according to the MCIT;

five mobile operators have been assigned 3G concessions;

with AWCC launching its 3G network at the start of 2015, all five operators had launched 3G;

some early moves were being made for the adoption of 4G technology;

the country's internet market continues to struggle but steady growth has been evident;

since the major surge in internet users reported by the ITU in 2009/2010, there has been positive growth in internet usage;

the arrival of 3G mobile broadband services has rapidly expanded internet access;

most importantly the price of internet is dropping;

the country's first satellite, Afghansat-1 was launched in 2015 under a strategic partnership with Eutelsat;

on a broader front, the ongoing political and civil unrest continued to be of concern to the country and its people, with any deterioration in the situation certain to have an impact on the telecom sector.

 

Companies mentioned in this report:

Afghan Telecom/Aftel, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.

READ MORE

Scope

1. Executive summary

2. Key statistics

3. Country overview

3.1 Background

3.2 Economy

4. Telecommunications market

4.1 Recent developments

4.2 Historical overview

4.3 Market analysis

5. Regulatory environment

5.1 Historical overview

5.2 Regulatory authorities

5.2.1 Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA)

5.2.2 Minister of Communications and Information Technology

5.3 Regulatory developments

5.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

5.3.2 Pakistan-Afghanistan border

6. Fixed network operators

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Afghan Telecom

6.3 Other operators and licences

6.3.1 Afghan Wireless Communications Co (AWCC)

6.3.2 Wasel Telecom

6.3.3 Other licences

7. Telecommunications infrastructure

7.1 Overview of the national telecom network

7.1.1 Background 2000/2001

7.1.2 Background - post major conflict

7.1.3 Fixed-line statistics

7.2 Developments

7.2.1 Optical fibre backbone

7.2.2 Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF)

7.2.3 AWCC's microwave ring

7.3 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)

7.3.1 Satellite services

8. Internet and broadband market

8.1 Overview

8.2 Background

8.3 Statistics

8.4 Forecasts internet subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

9. Internet Service Providers (ISP)

10. Digital economy

10.1 e-Commerce

10.2 e-Government

10.3 e-Health

10.4 e-Education

10.5 e-Banking

10.6 Other digital services

10.6.1 WiFi hotspots

10.6.2 Internet cafes

10.6.3 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

11. Mobile communications

11.1 Market analysis

11.2 Overview

11.3 Mobile statistics

11.3.1 General statistics

11.3.2 Operator statistics

11.3.3 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2015;2017; 2020

11.3.4 Forecasts mobile broadband subscribers 2015;2017; 2020

11.4 Mobile infrastructure

11.4.1 Introduction

11.4.2 Third Generation (3G)

11.4.3 4G / LTE

11.5 Mobile data services

11.5.1 Mobile banking and m-money

11.5.2 Roshan's Malomat service

12. Mobile operators

12.1 Afghan Wireless (AWCC)

12.1.1 Background

12.1.2 Statistics

12.1.3 Developments

12.2 Roshan

12.2.1 Background

12.2.2 Statistics

12.2.3 Developments

12.3 MTN Afghanistan

12.3.1 Background

12.3.2 Statistics

12.3.3 Developments

12.4 Etisalat Afghanistan

12.4.1 Background

12.4.2 Statistics

12.4.3 Developments

12.5 Aftel (Afghan Telecom)

13. Broadcasting market

13.1 Overview

13.2 Digitalisation

13.3 National broadcaster

13.4 Afghan TV

13.5 Herat TV

13.6 Cable TV

14. Related reports


List Of Figure

Chart 1 - Afghanistans GDP real growth rate - 2006 2017

Chart 2 - Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity - 2009 - 2015

Chart 3 - Internet users and penetration - 2010 2014

Chart 4 - Mobile subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2015

Chart 5 - Market share by major operators 2014

Chart 6 AWCC's mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014

Chart 7 - Roshans mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014

Exhibit 1 Awarding of 3G licences by operator and date 2012 - 2014

Exhibit 2 Launch of 3G services by operator and date 2012 - 2015


List Of Table

Table 1 Country statistics Afghanistan 2015

Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014

Table 3 Internet statistics 2014

Table 4 Mobile statistics 2014

Table 5 National telecommunications authorities

Table 6 Afghanistan's GDP real growth rate 2006 - 2017

Table 7 Afghan Telecom - wireline and wireless subscribers 2012; 2014

Table 8 Historical - Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 1994; 2000 - 2008

Table 9 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2009 - 2015

Table 10 Fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers 2011 - 2015

Table 11 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2009 - 2015

Table 12 Fixed-line subscribers wireline and wireless 2014

Table 13 Historical - Internet users 2002 - 2006

Table 14 Internet users 2007 2015

Table 15 Internet users 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010 2014

Table 16 Historical - Internet subscribers 2002 - 2004

Table 17 Fixed internet subscribers 2005 - 2014

Table 18 Fixed broadband subscribers 2005 - 2015

Table 19 International internet bandwidth 2005 - 2015

Table 20 Internet traffic incoming - 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010; 2012 2015

Table 21 Internet price 1Mb/month - 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010 2014

Table 22 Afghanistan - Facebook users and penetration 2012; 2015

Table 23 Forecast - fixed internet subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

Table 24 Mobile subscribers and annual change 2002 - 2015

Table 25 3G mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2013 - 2015

Table 26 Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change 2014

Table 27 Market share by major operators 2013

Table 28 Market share by major operators 2014

Table 29 ARPU by operator 2008 - 2012

Table 30 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

Table 31 Forecast mobile broadband subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020

Table 32 AWCC's mobile subscribers 2005 - 2014

Table 33 Roshan's mobile subscribers 2005 - 2014

Table 34 MTN's mobile subscribers 2007 - 2015

Table 35 MTN's ARPU 2011 - 2015

Table 36 Etisalat's mobile subscribers 2007 - 2014

Table 37 Key broadcasting statistics 2014

• Single User Licences (for access by one person),
• 10 User Licences (for access for up to 10 Users),
• 20 User Licences (for access for up to 20 Users), and
• Site Licences (allow access by all staff within the country of purchase).

To know more information on Purchase by Section, please send a mail to support@kenresearch.com

INQUIRE FOR COVID-19 IMPACT ANALYSIS

Products

Fixed-line, Broadband, Mobile Broadband, Fiber to the home, Telecommunications infrastructure, Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Long-term Evolution (LTE), Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Mobile TV, Fixed Line Subscribers, MVNO, Number Portability, High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), Mobile content and applications, Broadband access, Regulatory Authority, Mobile infrastructure, Satellite mobile, Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi), Satellite Broadband, VOIP, Video Streaming


Companies

Afghan Telecom/Aftel, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.