Roshan’s Active Subscriber Base in Afghanistan Reaches Three Million

Milestone Reflects Roshan’s Focus on Customer Service and Product Innovations

Press Release

Kabul, Afghanistan February 1, 2009 – Roshan, the leading telecommunications operator in Afghanistan, today announced that it has reached three million active subscribers, reaffirming its position as the mobile market leader in Afghanistan.

Despite highly competitive market conditions, Roshan has added one million new active subscribers just since June 2008 and has reached the three million active subscriber mark in less than six years of operation. Roshan attributed its rapid subscriber growth in Afghanistan to its successful focus on market segmentation, streamlined tariff structures, innovative services, and expanded customer touch points. Today, Roshan reaches over 226 cities and towns across 33 of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, covering 56% of the population.

“Since its inception, Roshan has been committed to connecting the people of Afghanistan to each other and the world, which means providing choices that meet individual needs and aspirations.” said Altaf Ladak, chief operating officer, Roshan. “The support and trust of Roshan customers has played a pivotal role in growing the Roshan family of subscribers to three million.”

Roshan was the first to introduce market-segmented products in Afghanistan and in 2008 streamlined its tariffs plans to offer subscribers three options:

  • The Aali plan is targeted at the mass market and includes Azizan features. It also offers bonus minutes based on all incoming calls and per second billing.
  • The Saadat plan is targeted at a business market with cheaper rates on national and international calls after the second minute, bonus minutes based on all incoming calls, and per second billing.
  • The Yaraan plan is targeted at the youth market with discounted rate on off-peak calls, SMS, bonus minutes based on all incoming calls, and per second billing.

Roshan is also attracting subscribers with innovative service offerings. In 2008, Roshan partnered with Vodafone to launch M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s first mobile banking product. M-Paisa provides consumers, businesses local banks and employers with an accessible, cost effective and safe method for funds transfer, airtime refill, salary payment, microfinance transactions and cashless travel. The service is now offered in 10 provinces throughout the country. M-Paisa is also serving as a catalyst for Afghanistan’s economy since it facilitates business transactions, loan repayments, and the movement of money nationwide.

“M-Paisa will aid in bringing positive change for our customers that can fuel the country’s economic development at multiple levels. M-Paisa has the potential to boost economic growth through the elimination of common financial barriers, especially in remote areas and in particular to women, who often are the sole supporters of the family. Through M-Paisa and Roshan’s robust mobile network coverage, we provide an important vehicle for the economic regeneration of Afghanistan” commented Ladak.

Also instrumental in reaching the three million active subscriber mark was Roshan’s efforts to augment customer touch points through increasing the number of kiosks that sell Roshan products and services, and Public Call Offices (PCOs), a resource for customers to place phone calls and attain access Roshan products and services.

About Roshan

Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan's leading telecom operator, with coverage in over 226 cities and towns and 3 million active subscribers. Roshan directly employs more than 1,000 people and provides indirect employment to more than 25,000 people. Since its inception 5 years ago, Roshan has invested over US $370 million in Afghanistan and is the country's single largest investor and tax payer. Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan's reconstruction and socio-economic development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to Afghanistan and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.

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