Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (Roshan) has signed a USD7.9 million deal with Pakistani telco Wateen Telecom for VSAT services, reports Pro Pakistani. The deal will see Wateen provide satellite equipment and bandwidth for GSM backhauling services to the Afghan telco, allowing it to further expand its coverage into remote areas of the country. The cellco has recently intensified its efforts to extend telecommunications services to rural communities; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in February this year Roshan signed an agreement with Lotus Solutions and Services to design and roll out base transceiver stations (BTS) in Afghanistan’s more isolated regions. Many of the new BTS are powered by solar panels, eliminating the need for costly local generators, or the country’s unreliable national grid.
Syed Jibran Ali, Wateen’s chief commercial officer, said: ‘The deal is not only going to help serve the day-to-day communications needs of millions of Afghans in remote areas of the country, but will also spur the development of local and satellite based communications networks in Afghanistan.’