State-owned operator Afghan Telecom, which offers mobile services under the Salaam brand, has launched commercial 4G services at 15 locations in Kabul. Local news outlet Tolo writes that the company also intends to invest a further USD20 million in developing and promoting internet services. Deputy Head of Aftel Mohammad Sharif Sharifi was cautious about raising expectations for the new system, however, saying: ‘We need some time to develop our system and to improve our services.’ Coverage is currently limited to parts of the capital but the operator plans to extend its 4G footprint to all provinces, albeit ‘slowly’ – no timeframe for the expansion was given, however.
The launch makes Salaam the third of Afghanistan’s mobile providers to launch the service after Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) in May 2017 and Etisalat in February last year. MTN Afghanistan and Roshan have each confirmed plans to introduce the technology but have yet to do so.