Late last month the Afghani telecoms regulator ATRA awarded contracts to build 67 base stations in underserved rural areas of the country, using funds from the Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF). The TDF is itself generated from a 2.5% tax on mobile network operator’s revenues. This is the third tender for rural base stations funded by the TDF, and was for a total 103 towers. However, there were applications to install just 67. According to a statement on the regulators website, Afghan Wireless will install 34 base stations, with Etisalat rolling out 23, Roshan five, Afghan Telecom four and Wasel Telecom one. The total subsidy for the 67 base stations is reported to be around USD8.5 million. The sites are expected to be completed within a year, in 60 districts of 25 provinces where there is either no telecoms service, or the service level does not meet the community needs.