Posts filed under ‘Afghanistan’
Afghani cellco Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (known locally as Roshan), has announced that it has signed up its three millionth subscriber, reaffirming its position as the largest network operator in the country by users. In the last six months of 2008 Roshan added a million new active subscribers, which it claims is a result of its streamlined tariff structures, innovative services and expanded coverage; Roshan now reaches over 226 cities and towns across 33 of 34 provinces, covering 56% of the population. ‘Since its inception, Roshan has been committed to connecting the people of Afghanistan to each other and the world, which means providing choices that meet individual needs and aspirations,’ said Altaf Ladak, chief operating officer at Roshan. ‘The support and trust of Roshan customers has played a pivotal role in growing the Roshan family of subscribers to three million.’
The Afghani administration has revealed how it plans to spend the Telecom Development Fund (TDF), mainly on the expansion of wireless and landline services in underserved rural areas. According to the terms of Afghani GSM licences, cellcos are required to pay 2.5% of their net revenues into the TDF; to date the fund has accumulated around USD26 million. Five rural provinces – Badakhshan, Paktika, Zabul, Daikundi, and Nooristan – will be among the first to benefit from the fund.
The battle for market leadership in Afghanistan took another twist in Q3 08, with Roshan regaining first place from Afghan Wireless. The latter first took the lead in Q4 07, although it was ahead by just 3k customers; however, this advantage increased to 130k at the end of Q1 08. Roshan fought back in Q2 08, narrowing the deficit to 30k, and Q3 08 saw it surge ahead with 2.34m customers to 2.20m for Afghan Wireless.
The third-placed operator is MTN, and although it remained more than 0.4m customers adrift of second place at the end of Q3 08 with 1.79m, it was by far the fastest growing of the top three. While Roshan and Afghan Wireless both saw annual growth rates of around 45%, MTN more than doubled its customer base year on year with a rate of 104.4%. Roshan topped the market for quarterly net additions for the second successive quarter with a gain of 315k, but MTN’s 166k was good enough to beat Afghan Wireless (+ 144k) for the sixth successive quarter. Moreover, in terms of annual net additions MTN led the market with a gain of 916k, compared to 723k for Roshan and 685k for Afghan Wireless.