Afghan Wireless Again Creates History in Afghanistan

Press Release
Source: Afghan Wireless

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 3, 2007 - Afghan Wireless proudly announces the completion of its high capacity digital Microwave Ring around the country.

Mr. Ehsanullah Bayat, Chairman of Afghan Wireless, announced the completion of the country's first ever Microwave Ring in a grand ceremony at a local hotel.

The event was attended by the country's 1st Vice President His Excellency Mr. Ahmad Zia, The Minister of Communications Mr. Sangeen, high officials from the Chamber of Commerce, AISA and a large number of dignitaries, parliamentarians and local and international media personnel.

This is the first Microwave Ring across the country in the history of Afghanistan, covering a distance of 2,500 Kilometers and millions of dollars of investment. It passes through 18 provinces providing direct coverage and connectivity to the population residing in surrounding areas. The ring ensures excellent quality coverage to 31 provinces, more than 250 towns, cities, highways and ensures world class GSM service to the largest customer base in Afghanistan.

Afghan Wireless Microwave Ring is Afghanistan's largest network providing Voice and Data interconnect through high speed terrestrial links. The Afghan Wireless Microwave Ring connects the North of the Country in Mazar, Takhar, Badakshan and Kunduz to Kabul over the Salang, which is further connected in the South to Kandahar and Spinboldak. The ring further extends West from Kandahar, passing through Hilmand, Nimroz and Farah, to reach Herat. It also extends from Herat to Mazar via Badghees, Faryab and Jawjan provinces. In the East, the ring connects Kabul to Jalalabad and the Turkham Border, along with the Kunar Valley. It also connects Gardez and Khost in the South East of the country.

The Microwave Ring has also helped in providing coverage to all major highways connecting Kabul to Kunduz to Mazar to Herat to Kandahar to Kabul.

Afghan Wireless is the only telecom company providing microwave connectivity to the Uzbekistan and Tajakistan borders in the North and to the Pakistan borders in the South and East. It also connects to the Iran border in the West. It proudly owns one of the world's Highest GSM sites at Salang (3980m AMSL). The ring probably has the longest link of 187km between Charkend and Qaramqol.

The backbone ring offers immense capacity with a minimum of STM1 connectivity (155Mbps) and redundancy while providing connectivity across the country.

Earlier, areas such as Herat were connected over satellite, which is prone to the inherent delays in the quality. Afghan Wireless is the only company in Afghanistan which has connected all major provinces of Afghanistan over high speed microwave links which are still not provided by its competitors. The other operators still use low speed VSAT connections to provide connectivity among distant regions.

Since most of the country of Afghanistan is covered with mountains, it is extremely difficult to build a network based on fiber optics and terrestrial links. Most operators in the country prefer to roll out faster, using satellite links to remote locations. VSAT customers suffer from poor voice quality calls over the satellite link. Since the satellite link has a limited capacity, congestion is a common problem in these areas. Satellite calls have an inherent delay. The customer is quickly realizing the high quality of calls that a GSM network deployed over Microwave can offer and the immense growth of Afghan Wireless user base is true evidence of this.

Afghan Wireless believes in providing high quality GSM services to its customers and hence preferred the Microwave route over the easy route of providing connectivity through satellite. This strategy, although costly and time consuming, helped in providing a state of the art GSM experience to the customer. The calls are clear, without any delay or satellite congestion restrictions. Looking into the future, when there would be a higher demand for Data services moving over GPRS, EDGE, and leased lines and eventually 3G, this backbone would have an important role in providing the necessary bandwidth.

About Afghan Wireless

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), headquartered in Kabul, is the largest private investor in Afghanistan, with over $300 Million invested. Afghan Wireless is also the largest employer of Afghans in Afghanistan, employing approximately 2,500 people directly and another 20,000 indirectly. AWCC is a leader in delivering wireless and broadband communication solutions to residential and business customers. The company has a strong reputation for philanthropy, supporting charitable organizations, assisting orphans, women, hunger relief and education through its own efforts and in conjunction with the Bayat Foundation (http://www.bayatfoundation.org).  

Additional information about Afghan Wireless and the products and services provided is available at http://www.afghan-wireless.com.

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