ATRA issues 3G licences, begins preparation for MNP

21 Jul 2011

The Afghan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) has announced plans to issue a tender for a single 3G licence. Bidding for the licence, which will permit use of spectrum in the 2100MHz band, begins on 1 August 2011. ATRA will close bidding on 1 October 2011 and hopes to announce a winner the following month. Whilst there is only one new licence up for grabs, the four existing GSM providers will have the opportunity to upgrade their licences by matching the winning bid, meaning a possible five 3G licence holders by 2012. At least one tellco will be upgrading its licence; according to TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in April 2011 local provider Roshan made public its plans to launch 3G services in the next six to twelve months.

Earlier this month ATRA announced that it was seeking technical support for launching mobile number portability (MNP), having expressed its intentions to begin MNP back in May. The watchdog is seeking consultation on all aspects of the process including public consultation, tender process and technical solutions.

Afghanistan, Roshan