AWCC finally joins 3G fray, leapfrogs rivals with DC-HSPA+ upgrade

15 Dec 2014

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has launched a 3.5G Dual Carrier HSPA+ network in Kabul, claiming to be the first operator in the country to utilise the technology. AWCC said in a press release that it had ‘completely rebuilt’ its core network in Kabul, installing DC-HSPA+ technology at each of its 3G sites in the city, enabling theoretical maximum downlink speeds of up to 42Mbps. AWCC also implemented IPv6 as part of its 3G rollout, making it the first company in Afghanistan with an all IPv6 system, it claims. The cellco is planning to deploy the solution in Kandahar in Q1 2015, with other cities to follow in that year.

AWCC’s managing director Amin Ramin commented on the launch: ‘We are delighted to provide these upgraded services to our subscribers in Kabul and, whether it is through improved internet surfing, online gaming or great video viewing experiences in either SD [standard definition] or HD [high definition] format, we are sure subscribers will quickly come to understand the true meaning and high speed of 3.75G+ technology and mobile broadband. As part of our transition to 3G, we also upgraded our internet capacity into the country, and built a superior and fully redundant backhaul transmission network in and around Kabul to support the smooth and reliable flow of large volumes of data which is one of the primary requirements of mobile broadband. This will enable us to reliably deliver large volumes of high quality data at true broadband speeds, 24×7, 365 days a year.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, AWCC is the last of the nation’s wireless providers to launch 3G services, following behind early movers Etisalat Afghanistan (March 2012), MTN Afghanistan (October 2012) and Roshan (April 2013), whilst Salaam, the mobile division of fixed line incumbent Afghan Telecom (Aftel) began offering 3G in February 2014.