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Telecommunications project in Afghanistan



The main objective is to bring about a modern mobile communication system that is both effective and is affordable by the local population. factors prohibiting the initial project are the following:

  • Security for the equipment for immediate, medium and long term in Afghanistan.
  • The cost of equipment as related to the affordability of services and therefore it's success.
  • Competition from AWCC or any future entity in the arena.
  • Reliability of services under harsh and extreme weather conditions and altitude.
  • Financing,  because a structured  commercial environment is not available in the country.
  • Notwithstanding the aforementioned it is in the best interest of the country and of it's initiators to establish a concise and applicable network that will host services which are required for the immediate and long term progress of the reconstruction of the country. It is therefore advisable that a partnership scheme be established with the government of the country and other interested parties so that the initial phase of the project may not be an overburden cost issue and therefore subsidised by government and local authority contracts. It is envisaged that after the local elections the founders of this project will present these papers to the Ministry of communications in Kabul for approval of a Communications licence for the objectives listed below.


    The following objectives are to be carried out for the fruition of this project:

  • Installation of a GSM mobile network based on the 900Mhz infrastructure of Siemens Mobile Networks, initially based in Kabul and thoroughly test in that city in order to test the viability of this product.
  • After the initial Kabul network, Mazar and Khandahar should have a localised network.
  • The third stage of the project is to install a 13 Ghz 155 Mbit Microwave hops between Khandahar-Kabul and Kabul- Mazar
  • The forth stage would be to provide an Intelsat connection at Kabul to connect the already installled networks to International Internet and telephony.
  • The fifth stage is to connect the initial network on a ring from Mazar to Herat and Herat to Khandahar and at the same time install a mobile network in Herat.
  • The sisth stage is to connect Kabul- Jalalabad-Torkum-Peshawar and a small mobile network at Jalalabad
  • The seventh stage would be to installl small antenaes along the ring routes following the highway routes so that travellers may have use of their mobile facility.
  • The eight and other stages would be to fill in the gaps were services are required when a great need is required.

    For Kabul the main objective will be for the residents to be able to communicate with the already existing PSTN. This I am sure will be possible as the Governments Communications Ministry has just contracted with Siemens AG a Siemens exchange for Kabul. Secondly the radius of the network should extend at least to the boarders of Kabul and this would mean at least 20 KM.

    It would be true to envisage the same radial efficiency for all of the major cities of Afghanistan and therefore the cost of network will reflect this criteria.

    The minimum hop on the 13 Ghz LAN network is dependent on the line of sight and it can be construed that the average distance between each node is 40 Km.

    It has been assumed that about 37 hops are required for the total ring network as illustrated by the following draft:

    Afghanistan Network Draft


    Taking the assumptions of previous costs and extrapolating , the following cost analysis has been conducted on the following basis:

    Price Structure
    A Local 4.5 cents/min &Subscriptionn $9.45/Month 
    B Local 5.5 cents/min & Subscription $6.60/Month 
    C Local 6.0 cents/min & Subscription $7.20/Month 
    D Local 8.0 cents/min & Subscription $14.40/Month 

    It must be noted that Siemens has not given any costs, so all figures are rudimentary. The price structure has been chosen to reflect the immediate and medium term business stategy for uptake of services by the indigenous population.

     See the Calculations

    It is assumed that the government and local International companies and groups will use the major part of the bandwidth of the LAN network to link their communications network.

    The cost of phones has not been included in the calculation as any GSM phone may be utilised for this service. The cost of telephones for this service range from $30 to $250.

    A prepaid card system has not been ruled out, however it is an extra cost burden and is unnecessary as any non paying account can be automatically switched off, if their subscription is not paid.

    International Communications

    The International communications proposal is a preliminary step to Internet and 30 channel voice for International calls being given at 29 cents per minute to Europe and the US.

    Please refer any communications to the author at:

    Other companies proposing similar projects

    TSI contact and job vacancy as advertised on 19 Jun 2002 indicating it's commitment to activating an internet based system

    Ministry of Telecommunications Afghanistan

    The ministry has introduces a website at and hope to woe respective applicants to it's GSM tender at a wopping $10,000 application fee.


    Ministry's timetable for offering GSM License
    a selection of candidates for the GSM license
    The winner of the license AFTED a consortium of foriegn investors bringing Alkatel technology Second (or third ?) GSM license awarded in Afghanistan or akfed AKFED-Led Consortium Wins Afghan Telecom Licence or akfed


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