Afghanistan’s telecommunications sector is one of the poorly organized and developed among other countries and in comparison with its neighbors. One of the major reasons is that the war torn country has been suffering from civil war and internal conflicts for many years.
Fiber optic cables were installed in Afghanistan in the past. Most of them were destroyed in the civil war. Telecom insurgents were targeting telecommunication infrastructures in order to destroy state establishments. As of this writing, it is estimated that there are 14,000 main telephone subscribers in the country, which ranks Afghanistan to the 198th position in terms of the number of main telephone lines.
Afghanistan’s mobile communication is far better than its fixed telephone sector, which places it to the 55th position with 18 million subscribers. There are five telecom operators who offer mobile services in Afghanistan.
Afghan Telecom CDMA Mobile is a subsidiary of Afghan Telecom, who is the sole fixed landline provider. The country’s terrain and the civil conflicts that destroyed many of the underground and land facilities of telecom services have been forcing increasing number of Afghans to depend on mobile services. Mobile operators have tried to enhance their services to attract more subscribers.
Official claim is that the authorities had ensured access to mobile services to more than ninety percent of the population. Radio Television Afghanistan is the state broadcaster for radio and television services in Afghanistan. They have many radio and television stations in Kabul, which h is the capital of the country and other provinces. Afghanistan is connected with its neighbors through modern means of telecommunication cables. Both domestic and international voice and data services are provided through VSATs. Afghanistan has more than 1 million internet users.
Around 2.5 percent of the houses in Afghanistan have computers and 2.1 percent has internet connections at home. It is estimated that around six percent of Afghans use internet services. Mobile broadband subscription rate is 1.2 percent. Fiber optic infrastructure is still at its primary stage in the country. Afghan Telecom Regulatory Authority, ATRA regulates the activities of communication sector in Afghanistan. We could not find any fiber optic product manufacturers in the country.