Kabul surfs the 3G internet

There may not be peace in Afghanistan, but its capital at least is about to get 3G mobile coverage.

There may not be peace in Afghanistan, but its capital at least is about to get 3G mobile coverage.

Siemens Communications Group has been awarded a contract by New York-based Telephone Systems International (TSI) to set up a W-CDMA-based 3G network in Kabul.

The roll-out is on behalf of the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), the mobile operator which is 80% owned by TSI. The Afghan government has a 20% minority share in the company.

In addition to 3G technology, Siemens will also supply 2G equipment to the mobile operator.

Around 1.5 million people are said to use mobile telephony in Afghanistan, a market penetration of about 4%.

“Using the new wireless technology we will be able to connect more people to the communications network in Afghanistan quickly and easily,” said Dan Florentine, chief financial officer of TSI.

In addition to voice and mobile internet communications, TSI wants to deliver mobile TV to Afghanis, many of whom don’t even own their own traditional TV.

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