Friday 27th June 2003
The Afghan Communications Minister Masoom Stanekzai made the first call on the new network.
The new network is urgently required as the existing system set up by Afghan Wireless Communication has been unexpectedly successful and now regularly suffers from network congestion. The new wireless phone service will be called Roshan, which means "light" in Afghanistan's two main languages, Dari and Pashtu.
Initially targeted at six main cities, the "Aga Khan" network Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kunduz, the phased initiative, entailing an initial investment of US$55 million, is expected to expand its network to other cities over the next four to five years. Subsequent phases will raise investment in the GSM network to US$120 million over the coming decade.