Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has reduced the cost of international bandwidth by 20%, as it looks to lay the groundwork for the introduction of 4G services in the future. Acting Telecom Minister Ahmad Shah Sadaat was quoted as saying that the ministry has lowered the price per Mbps for connections to Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Iraq from USD336, USD120 and USD180 to USD268, USD96 and USD144 respectively. The official went on to warn that the ISPs are expected to pass on these price reductions to end users, saying: ‘If telecom companies do not transfer this discount to the customers, the discount will be taken from them.’
The development follows an announcement from Mr Sadaat last month, in which the official responded to complaints of the high prices and low quality of telecom service by promising to slash costs by 20%. At the time, the official added that the ministry was hoping to increase the number of people using the internet from around four million to 15 million in the next four year years, Customs Today reported. Mr Sadaat also warned that companies could face fines of between AFN2 million and AFN100 million (USD30,000 to USD1.497 million) for raising prices whilst offering poor quality services.