Afghan Wireless has announced the completion of a 2,500km STM1 microwave ring, which passes through 18 provinces. The new backbone connects cities including Mazar, Takhar, Badakshan, Kunduz, Kabul, Kandahar and Spinboldak. The ring extends west from Kandahar, passing through Hilmand, Nimroz and Farah to reach Herat. It also runs from Herat to Mazar via Badghees, Faryab and Jawjan provinces. In the East, the ring connects Kabul to Jalalabad and Turkham Border along with the Kunar Valley. It also connects Gardez and Khost in the South East of the country. Afghan Wireless claims to be the only telecoms company providing microwave connectivity to the Uzbekistan, Tajakistan and Pakistan borders. It also connects to the Iranian border in the west. Prior to the new network being lit, cities such as Herat were connected via VSAT connections.