80% stake in Afghan Telecom up for grabs

19 Mar 2008

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and IT (MCIT) has published a Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) in the sale of 80% of fixed line incumbent Afghan Telecom. Interested parties have until 4 April to register their interest.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database Afghan Telecom operates a digital network in Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif where national and international satellite links have been established. Kabul has a 12,000 capacity fixed line switch with around 7,000 active lines, while Herat has a 60,000 fixed line system and Mazar the capacity for around 4,000 connections. AT also operates an analogue system in the capital with an estimated 8,000 lines; work is underway to convert these to digital. There is a VSAT network between Kabul and four main cities, currently being expanded to additional provincial capitals. In March 2007 the MCIT posted an investment opportunity on its website for the reconfiguration of Afghan Telecom’s legacy CDMA and fixed line network. According to the government body, AT has a CDMA network with a capacity of 225,000 lines (via 85 BTSs) and 101,400 fixed lines, which it required to be split into two separate networks. The first will become a national wireless pre-paid CDMA network and the second will offer fixed line voice and data services in six provinces, in addition to CDMA based wireless services.

Afghanistan, Afghan Telecom (Aftel, incl. Salaam)