Afghanistan's government has announced plans to issue a tender for 3G and 4G licenses next month. There will be an auction of some sort for the new license, while the incumbent GSM operators will be able to then buy a similar license for the same fee offered by the new entrant.
Announcing the plans for the license tender, Eng Amirzai Sangin Minister of (MCIT) said: The growth and vitality of the telecommunications sector in Afghanistan is one of the most remarkable success stories of the recent past. Since 1382 (2003-2004), when the first two licenses were issued for GSM mobile services, mobile telephone subscribers have increased from zero to 17 million subscribers. More than US$1.6 billion has been invested in modern infrastructure, services now reaching over 80% of the population and sustaining over 100,000 jobs nationwide."
There are currently five licensed mobile networks in the country and according to figures from the Mobile World analysts, their market shares are: Roshan (28.5%); MTN (24.5%) ; Etisalat (24.3%); Afghan Wireless (22%) and Afghan Telecom (<1%)
The 3G/4G tender package will be available to all interested parties on 1 August 2011.
Source: Cellular News