Afghanistan continues to be confronted by the challenges. 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. The telecommunications networks now covers over 90% of the population.
Efforts are being made to roll out fixed-line services, but the country’s telecommunications services rely heavily on its mobile infrastructure.
Fixed-line broadband market penetration has not grown significantly over the last five years. Over the next five years to 2023 growth is expected to continue but overall market penetration will remain extremely low.
Afghanistan is making good progress on the roll-out of the government project for a nationwide optical fibre backbone. The MCIT officially launched the ‘Wakhan Corridor Fibre Optic Survey Project’, the first phase of a plan to install a cross-border fibre link connecting Afghanistan with China.
Afghanistan has a highly competitive mobile market that continues to flourish despite the background of the ongoing conflict throughout the country. The mobile sector has been boosted by the absence of effective fixed-line alternatives. There are five mobile operators competing in Afghanistan’s telecom sector.
Afghanistan’s mobile market has experienced reasonably strong growth over 2012 to 2018 period from a relatively small base. Moderately strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023.
Afghanistan has seen a strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years, however the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development and penetration remains relatively low compared to other Asian nations. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023 by which time the market is predicted to reach market penetration of 30%. The mobile broadband market will be driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers and strong competition.
Afghan Telecom/Aftel/Salam Telecom/Networks, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom.
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Number of pages 95
Last updated 17 Oct 2018
Analyst: Phil Harpur
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