Fibre network drives up sector revenue

16 Apr 2012

Revenues from Afghanistan’s telecoms sector crossed AFN9.5 billion (USD190.15 million) in 2011 (1390 in the local calendar, ended 20 March 2012) up from around USD160 million in 2010, said telecoms minister Amirzai Sangin. According to Outlook Afghanistan, Sangin attributed the growth to the expanding network of fibre-optic cables in the country, noting that the infrastructure was activated in most provinces and generates USD5 million a month or USD60 million a year. Afghanistan’s nationwide fibre backbone project was launched in 2007, with the 3,300km network due to connect Kabul with Parwan, Balkh, Faryab, Herat and Kandahar provinces within two years. Security risks have hampered the rollout, however, and to date the network is only 80% complete.

Sangin added that the launch of the nation’s first 3G network by Etisalat also helped to drive growth towards the end of the year. The ministry hopes to maintain the current level of growth with the allocation of a further four 3G concessions later this year, as well as the distribution of a number of WiMAX licences.