Investcom/MTC subsidiary Areeba Afghanistan has announced the launch of its GSM network in the four provinces of Mazar, Kabul, Ningrhar and Kunduz. Using Ericsson-supplied equipment, the company plans to expand coverage on a rolling basis. Areeba was awarded a 15-year licence in September 2005. It becomes the country’s third wireless operator, competing with Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) and Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (TDCA, Roshan). A fourth player – Dubai-backed Wasel Telecom – is expected to become operational in November.