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Afghanistan-Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband-Statistics and Analyses

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Consolidation likely in Afghanistan mobile market

Afghanistan continues to be confronted on the widest possible front by the challenges of moving from a fragile present into a more stable and positive future. By 2016 despite the positive signs of a civil society taking shape, the country was still suffering from the ongoing conflict and multiple difficulties in administering the nation. After many years of war and civil strife, an encouraging aspect of the country's efforts to rebuild has been the considerable success evident in the creating a functional telecommunications sector virtually from nothing. According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the telecommunications networks covered around 90% of the population by 2016. Whilst the sector is flourishing, at least in a relative sense, the regulatory side is still in its infancy.

Efforts were made to roll out fixed-line services, but the country's telecommunications services rely heavily on its mobile infrastructure. There are five mobile operators competing in Afghanistan's telecom sector. Between them they claimed a total of more than 25 million subscribers, with an overall mobile penetration of almost 80%. Four of the five were carrying market shares in excess of 20%, while the fifth, Afghan Telecom's Salam was just starting to build its mobile subscriber base. Indeed Afghanistan has a highly competitive mobile market that continues to flourish despite the background of the ongoing conflict throughout the country. Not surprisingly the mobile sector has been boosted by the absence of effective fixed-line alternatives.

More recently, there has been a slump in the mobile market which was attributed to the withdrawal of foreign troops and an exodus of the nation's middle class amidst renewed violence. According to one source, this withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan was expected to lead to consolidation in the nation's mobile market. The exit of foreign troops had resulted in a shortage of high-value customers, leading to a drop of around 30%-40% in the value of the mobile market, according to the source.

In the meantime, internet penetration remains generally low throughout Afghanistan. With internet access initially relying heavily on dial-up services and an extremely low number of broadband subscribers in place, the online segment of the market was looking for a boost. That boost came in the form of 3G mobile licences. The 3G services being offered by the various operators had been launched in 2013 and were providing a special opportunity for delivering mobile broadband to Afghanistan's population. Coming into 2016, there were around two million 3G mobile broadband subscribers in the country; however, this was only 8% of the total mobile subscriber base.

The political and civil stability of the country is a dark cloud hanging over the country; it is of course a particular threat to the effectiveness of the telecommunications network and the viability of the telecommunications sector. Nevertheless, there does appear to be a will to secure the future of telecommunications in Afghanistan.

Key developments:

Afghanistan's mobile market has continued on its positive expansion path into 2016;

mobile subscriber growth looks to be ongoing in the range 5% to 10% per annum in 2016;

mobile penetration has reached 80% under a generally difficult market environment;

mobile coverage (population) has passed 90% according to the MCIT;

all five of the mobile operators have been assigned 3G concessions;

by the time AWCC launched its 3G network in 2015, all five operators had launched 3G;

some early moves were being made for the adoption of 4G technology;

there are suggestions that the mobile market will undergo consolidation as the operators experience falling revenue with the departure of foreign troops;

the country's internet market continues to struggle but steady growth has been evident;

following a major surge in internet users in 2009/2010, there has been positive growth in internet usage;

the arrival of 3G mobile broadband services has rapidly expanded internet access;

most importantly the price of internet access/usage is dropping;

on a positive note the Afghanistan National Data Centre (ANDC), a government-owned data centre, has been steadily expanding its data centre role;

the country's first satellite, Afghansat-1 was launched in 2015 under a strategic partnership with Eutelsat;

on a broader front, the ongoing political and civil unrest continued to be of concern to the country and its people, with any deterioration in the situation certain to have a negative impact on the telecom sector.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Afghan Telecom/Aftel/Salam Telecom/Networks, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.

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Table Of Content

Scope

1. Executive summary

2. Key statistics

3. Country overview

3.1 Background

3.2 Economy

4. Telecommunications market

4.1 Market Overview and Analysis

4.2 Historical background

5. Regulatory environment

5.1 Overview

5.2 Regulatory authorities

5.2.1 Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA)

5.2.2 Minister of Communications and Information Technology

5.3 Regulatory developments

5.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

6. Telecommunications infrastructure

6.1 Overview of the national telecom network

6.1.1 Background 2000/2001

6.1.2 Background-post major conflict

6.2 Fixed-line statistics

6.3 Developments

6.3.1 Optical fibre backbone

6.3.2 AWCC's all-IP infrastructure strategy

6.3.3 Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF)

6.3.4 AWCC's microwave ring

6.4 International infrastructure

6.4.1 Satellite services

7. Fixed network operators

7.1 Overview

7.2 Afghan Telecom

7.3 Other operators and licences

7.3.1 Afghan Wireless Communications Co (AWCC)

7.3.2 Wasel Telecom

7.3.3 Other licences

8. Fixed Internet and broadband market

8.1 Market overview and analysis

8.2 Background

8.3 Statistics

8.4 Forecasts internet subscribers 2015; 2018; 2021

9. Internet Service Providers (ISP)

10. Digital economy

10.1 e-Commerce

10.2 e-Government

10.3 e-Health

10.4 e-Education

10.5 e-Banking

10.6 Afghanistan National Data Centre (ANDC)

10.7 Other digital services

10.7.1 WiFi hotspots

10.7.2 Internet cafes

10.7.3 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

11. Mobile communications

11.1 Market Overview and Analysis

11.2 Mobile statistics

11.2.1 General statistics

11.2.2 Operator statistics

11.3 Mobile forecasts

11.3.1 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016;2018; 2021

11.3.2 Forecasts mobile broadband subscribers 2016;2018; 2021

11.4 Mobile infrastructure

11.4.1 Introduction

11.4.2 Third Generation (3G)

11.4.3 4G / LTE

11.5 Mobile data services

11.5.1 Mobile banking and m-money

11.5.2 Roshan's Malomat service

12. Mobile operators

12.1 Overview

12.2 Afghan Wireless (AWCC)

12.2.1 Background

12.2.2 Statistics

12.2.3 Developments

12.3 Roshan

12.3.1 Overview

12.3.2 Statistics

12.3.3 Background

12.4 MTN Afghanistan

12.4.1 Overview

12.4.2 Statistics

12.4.3 Developments

12.5 Etisalat Afghanistan

12.5.1 Overview

12.5.2 Statistics

12.5.3 Developments

12.6 Salam Telecom (Aftel)

13. Broadcasting market

13.1 Overview

13.2 Digitalisation

13.3 National broadcaster

13.4 Afghan TV

13.5 Herat TV

13.6 Cable TV

14. Related reports


List Of Figure

Chart 1-Afghanistans GDP real growth rate-2006 2017

Chart 2-Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity-2009-2016

Chart 3-Mobile subscribers and annual change-2006-2016

Exhibit 1 Awarding of 3G licences by operator and date

Exhibit 2 Launch of 3G services by operator and date


List Of Table

Table 1 Country statistics Afghanistan 2016

Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2016

Table 3 Internet statistics 2016

Table 4 Mobile statistics 2016

Table 5 National telecommunications authorities

Table 6 Afghanistan's GDP real growth rate 2006-2017

Table 7 Historical-Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 1994; 2000-2008

Table 8 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2009-2016

Table 9 Fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers 2011-2015

Table 10 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity wireline v. wireless-2009 2016

Table 11 Fixed-line subscribers wireline and wireless 2015

Table 12 Afghan Telecom-wireline and wireless subscribers 2012; 2014-2016

Table 13 Historical-Internet users (ITU) 2002-2006

Table 14 Internet users (ITU) 2007 2015

Table 15 Internet users 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010 2016

Table 16 Historical-Internet subscribers 2002-2004

Table 17 Fixed internet subscribers 2005-2016

Table 18 Fixed broadband subscribers 2005-2016

Table 19 International internet bandwidth 2005-2016

Table 20 Afghanistan-Facebook users and penetration 2012; 2015

Table 21 Forecast-fixed internet subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 22 Mobile subscribers and annual change 2002-2016

Table 23 3G mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2013-2016

Table 24 Mobile operator and systems

Table 25 Subscribers and Market share by Major Operators 2016

Table 26 Historical-ARPU by operator 2008-2012

Table 27 Forecast mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 28 Forecast mobile broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 29 AWCC's mobile subscribers 2005-2016

Table 30 Roshan's mobile subscribers 2005-2016

Table 31 MTN's mobile subscribers 2007-2016

Table 32 MTN's ARPU 2011-2016

Table 33 Etisalat's mobile subscribers 2007-2016

Table 34 Key broadcasting statistics

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Products and Companies

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, forcast, forcasting, estimates, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Internet, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Afghanistan, Asia


Companies

Afghan Telecom/Aftel/Salam Telecom/Networks, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.

Consolidation likely in Afghanistan mobile market

Afghanistan continues to be confronted on the widest possible front by the challenges of moving from a fragile present into a more stable and positive future. By 2016 despite the positive signs of a civil society taking shape, the country was still suffering from the ongoing conflict and multiple difficulties in administering the nation. After many years of war and civil strife, an encouraging aspect of the country's efforts to rebuild has been the considerable success evident in the creating a functional telecommunications sector virtually from nothing. According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the telecommunications networks covered around 90% of the population by 2016. Whilst the sector is flourishing, at least in a relative sense, the regulatory side is still in its infancy.

Efforts were made to roll out fixed-line services, but the country's telecommunications services rely heavily on its mobile infrastructure. There are five mobile operators competing in Afghanistan's telecom sector. Between them they claimed a total of more than 25 million subscribers, with an overall mobile penetration of almost 80%. Four of the five were carrying market shares in excess of 20%, while the fifth, Afghan Telecom's Salam was just starting to build its mobile subscriber base. Indeed Afghanistan has a highly competitive mobile market that continues to flourish despite the background of the ongoing conflict throughout the country. Not surprisingly the mobile sector has been boosted by the absence of effective fixed-line alternatives.

More recently, there has been a slump in the mobile market which was attributed to the withdrawal of foreign troops and an exodus of the nation's middle class amidst renewed violence. According to one source, this withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan was expected to lead to consolidation in the nation's mobile market. The exit of foreign troops had resulted in a shortage of high-value customers, leading to a drop of around 30%-40% in the value of the mobile market, according to the source.

In the meantime, internet penetration remains generally low throughout Afghanistan. With internet access initially relying heavily on dial-up services and an extremely low number of broadband subscribers in place, the online segment of the market was looking for a boost. That boost came in the form of 3G mobile licences. The 3G services being offered by the various operators had been launched in 2013 and were providing a special opportunity for delivering mobile broadband to Afghanistan's population. Coming into 2016, there were around two million 3G mobile broadband subscribers in the country; however, this was only 8% of the total mobile subscriber base.

The political and civil stability of the country is a dark cloud hanging over the country; it is of course a particular threat to the effectiveness of the telecommunications network and the viability of the telecommunications sector. Nevertheless, there does appear to be a will to secure the future of telecommunications in Afghanistan.

Key developments:

Afghanistan's mobile market has continued on its positive expansion path into 2016;

mobile subscriber growth looks to be ongoing in the range 5% to 10% per annum in 2016;

mobile penetration has reached 80% under a generally difficult market environment;

mobile coverage (population) has passed 90% according to the MCIT;

all five of the mobile operators have been assigned 3G concessions;

by the time AWCC launched its 3G network in 2015, all five operators had launched 3G;

some early moves were being made for the adoption of 4G technology;

there are suggestions that the mobile market will undergo consolidation as the operators experience falling revenue with the departure of foreign troops;

the country's internet market continues to struggle but steady growth has been evident;

following a major surge in internet users in 2009/2010, there has been positive growth in internet usage;

the arrival of 3G mobile broadband services has rapidly expanded internet access;

most importantly the price of internet access/usage is dropping;

on a positive note the Afghanistan National Data Centre (ANDC), a government-owned data centre, has been steadily expanding its data centre role;

the country's first satellite, Afghansat-1 was launched in 2015 under a strategic partnership with Eutelsat;

on a broader front, the ongoing political and civil unrest continued to be of concern to the country and its people, with any deterioration in the situation certain to have a negative impact on the telecom sector.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Afghan Telecom/Aftel/Salam Telecom/Networks, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.

READ MORE

Scope

1. Executive summary

2. Key statistics

3. Country overview

3.1 Background

3.2 Economy

4. Telecommunications market

4.1 Market Overview and Analysis

4.2 Historical background

5. Regulatory environment

5.1 Overview

5.2 Regulatory authorities

5.2.1 Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA)

5.2.2 Minister of Communications and Information Technology

5.3 Regulatory developments

5.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

6. Telecommunications infrastructure

6.1 Overview of the national telecom network

6.1.1 Background 2000/2001

6.1.2 Background-post major conflict

6.2 Fixed-line statistics

6.3 Developments

6.3.1 Optical fibre backbone

6.3.2 AWCC's all-IP infrastructure strategy

6.3.3 Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF)

6.3.4 AWCC's microwave ring

6.4 International infrastructure

6.4.1 Satellite services

7. Fixed network operators

7.1 Overview

7.2 Afghan Telecom

7.3 Other operators and licences

7.3.1 Afghan Wireless Communications Co (AWCC)

7.3.2 Wasel Telecom

7.3.3 Other licences

8. Fixed Internet and broadband market

8.1 Market overview and analysis

8.2 Background

8.3 Statistics

8.4 Forecasts internet subscribers 2015; 2018; 2021

9. Internet Service Providers (ISP)

10. Digital economy

10.1 e-Commerce

10.2 e-Government

10.3 e-Health

10.4 e-Education

10.5 e-Banking

10.6 Afghanistan National Data Centre (ANDC)

10.7 Other digital services

10.7.1 WiFi hotspots

10.7.2 Internet cafes

10.7.3 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

11. Mobile communications

11.1 Market Overview and Analysis

11.2 Mobile statistics

11.2.1 General statistics

11.2.2 Operator statistics

11.3 Mobile forecasts

11.3.1 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016;2018; 2021

11.3.2 Forecasts mobile broadband subscribers 2016;2018; 2021

11.4 Mobile infrastructure

11.4.1 Introduction

11.4.2 Third Generation (3G)

11.4.3 4G / LTE

11.5 Mobile data services

11.5.1 Mobile banking and m-money

11.5.2 Roshan's Malomat service

12. Mobile operators

12.1 Overview

12.2 Afghan Wireless (AWCC)

12.2.1 Background

12.2.2 Statistics

12.2.3 Developments

12.3 Roshan

12.3.1 Overview

12.3.2 Statistics

12.3.3 Background

12.4 MTN Afghanistan

12.4.1 Overview

12.4.2 Statistics

12.4.3 Developments

12.5 Etisalat Afghanistan

12.5.1 Overview

12.5.2 Statistics

12.5.3 Developments

12.6 Salam Telecom (Aftel)

13. Broadcasting market

13.1 Overview

13.2 Digitalisation

13.3 National broadcaster

13.4 Afghan TV

13.5 Herat TV

13.6 Cable TV

14. Related reports


List Of Figure

Chart 1-Afghanistans GDP real growth rate-2006 2017

Chart 2-Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity-2009-2016

Chart 3-Mobile subscribers and annual change-2006-2016

Exhibit 1 Awarding of 3G licences by operator and date

Exhibit 2 Launch of 3G services by operator and date


List Of Table

Table 1 Country statistics Afghanistan 2016

Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2016

Table 3 Internet statistics 2016

Table 4 Mobile statistics 2016

Table 5 National telecommunications authorities

Table 6 Afghanistan's GDP real growth rate 2006-2017

Table 7 Historical-Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 1994; 2000-2008

Table 8 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2009-2016

Table 9 Fixed wireless (WLL) subscribers 2011-2015

Table 10 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity wireline v. wireless-2009 2016

Table 11 Fixed-line subscribers wireline and wireless 2015

Table 12 Afghan Telecom-wireline and wireless subscribers 2012; 2014-2016

Table 13 Historical-Internet users (ITU) 2002-2006

Table 14 Internet users (ITU) 2007 2015

Table 15 Internet users 2002; 2004; 2006; 2008; 2010 2016

Table 16 Historical-Internet subscribers 2002-2004

Table 17 Fixed internet subscribers 2005-2016

Table 18 Fixed broadband subscribers 2005-2016

Table 19 International internet bandwidth 2005-2016

Table 20 Afghanistan-Facebook users and penetration 2012; 2015

Table 21 Forecast-fixed internet subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 22 Mobile subscribers and annual change 2002-2016

Table 23 3G mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2013-2016

Table 24 Mobile operator and systems

Table 25 Subscribers and Market share by Major Operators 2016

Table 26 Historical-ARPU by operator 2008-2012

Table 27 Forecast mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 28 Forecast mobile broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021

Table 29 AWCC's mobile subscribers 2005-2016

Table 30 Roshan's mobile subscribers 2005-2016

Table 31 MTN's mobile subscribers 2007-2016

Table 32 MTN's ARPU 2011-2016

Table 33 Etisalat's mobile subscribers 2007-2016

Table 34 Key broadcasting statistics

• Single User Licences (for access by one person),
• 10 User Licences (for access for up to 10 Users),
• 20 User Licences (for access for up to 20 Users), and
• Site Licences (allow access by all staff within the country of purchase).

To know more information on Purchase by Section, please send a mail to support@kenresearch.com

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, forcast, forcasting, estimates, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Internet, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Afghanistan, Asia


Companies

Afghan Telecom/Aftel/Salam Telecom/Networks, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom, Ericsson, ZTE.