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Market Research Report

Afghanistan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Published by BuddeComm Product code 979691
Published Content info 100 Pages
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Afghanistan - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Published: November 25, 2020 Content info: 100 Pages
Description

Afghanistan making progress in international cable connectivity

Although Afghanistan continues to be confronted by numerous challenges, largely due to the material effects of many years of war and civil strife, there have been successes in the country's efforts to rebuild infrastructure and create a functional telecom sector.

Telecom services now cover over 90% of the population, though penetration rates remain relatively low. Efforts continue on rolling out fixed-line services, but these are limited to outside the main urban areas and thus the country heavily relies on mobile network infrastructure.

The government has been supported by the World Bank and a range of other donors to develop a nationwide fibre backbone. Afghanistan now has terrestrial cable connectivity to five neighbouring countries, while work on the 'Wakhan Corridor Fibre Optic Survey Project' to connect to China is nearing completion.

The mobile market showed reasonably strong growth between 2012 and 2017 but faced a serious slowdown in 2018, with the number of subscribers falling 8% year-on-year. This was partly due to increasing violence in the country (creating population displacement as well as damage to infrastructure), and also to a downturn in the regional economy. Insurgent activity continues to degrade telecom infrastructure, mainly in damage done to mobile towers. However, there were positive signs of recovery in 2019, with slow subscriber growth despite the uncertainty created by the presidential election. The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a fall in the number of mobile subscribers in 2020, and the segment is expected to remain under pressure well into 2021.

Afghanistan has seen a strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past few years, with penetration reaching 22% in 2019 compared to only 1% in 2013. The sector is still at an early stage of development and penetration remains relatively low compared to other Asian nations. As with the mobile sector, the number of mobile broadband subscribers has been affected by the pandemic though slow growth is expected to return in the sector after 2022.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Regulator and Ministry of Communications develop new policy to improve telecom QoS;
  • Salaam Telecom launches its LTE service in some areas of Kabul;
  • Progress made with the Wakhan Corridor Fibre Optic Survey Project;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2020, operator data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Afghan Telecom/Aftel/Salam Telecom/Networks, Afghan Wireless Communications Company/AWCC, Roshan/ Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (TDCA), Etisalat Afghanistan, MTN Afghanistan, Wasel Telecom.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Key statistics

Regional Market Comparison

Country overview

  • Economy

Covid-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

  • Economic considerations and responses
  • Mobile devices
  • Subscribers
  • Infrastructure

Telecommunications market

  • Market analysis
  • Historical background

Regulatory environment

  • Overview
  • Regulatory authorities
    • Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA)
    • Minister of Communications and Information Technology
  • Fixed-line developments
    • Framework for emergency telecoms systems
  • Mobile network developments
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • SIM card registration
    • Spectrum
    • Access

Mobile market

  • Mobile statistics
  • Mobile infrastructure
    • 4G (LTE)
    • 3G
  • Mobile broadband
  • Mobile satellite
  • Major mobile operators
    • Afghan Wireless (AWCC)
    • Roshan
    • MTN Afghanistan
    • Etisalat Afghanistan
    • Salam Telecom (Aftel)
    • Wasel Telecom
  • Mobile content and applications
    • Mobile banking and m-money
    • Roshan's Malomat service

Fixed-line broadband market

  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  • WiMAX
  • WiFi
  • Internet cafes

Digital economy

  • e-Commerce
  • e-Government
  • e-Health
  • e-Education

Fixed network operators

  • Introduction
  • Afghan Telecom
  • Afghan Wireless Communications Co (AWCC)
  • Wasel Telecom
  • Other licences

Telecommunications infrastructure

  • Fixed-line statistics
  • Optical fibre backbone
  • IP infrastructure
  • Rural Access
    • Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF)
    • Remote Village
  • Microwave ring
  • International infrastructure
    • Satellite services
  • Cloud computing
  • Afghanistan National Data Centre (ANDC)

Appendix - Historic data

Glossary of abbreviations

Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 - Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Afghanistan - 2020 (e)
  • Table 2 - Change in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Table 3 - Mobile subscribers by category - 2019 - 2020
  • Table 4 - Population coverage type of mobile technology - 2019
  • Table 5 - 3G mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2013 - 2020
  • Table 6 - Change in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2013 - 2025
  • Table 7 - Mobile operator and systems
  • Table 8 - Subscribers and market share by major operators - 2019
  • Table 9 - Change in the number of Roshan's mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2009; 2018 - 2019
  • Table 10 - Growth in the number of MTN Afghanistan's mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2020
  • Table 11 - Decline in MTN Afghanistan's mobile ARPU - 2011 - 2020
  • Table 12 - Development of MTN Afghanistan's revenue - 2014 - 2020
  • Table 13 - Change in the number of fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Table 14 - Internet penetration - 2009 - 2018
  • Table 15 - Increase in international internet bandwidth - 2010 - 2019
  • Table 16 - Growth in the number of fixed line subscriptions and teledensity - 2010- 2025
  • Table 17 - Historic - Afghan Telecom - wireline and wireless subscribers - 2012; 2014 - 2016
  • Table 18 - Historic - Mobile ARPU by operator - 2008 - 2012
  • Table 19 - Historic - ARPU by operator - 2008 - 2012
  • Table 20 - Historic - Mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2009
  • Table 21 - Historic - Fixed-line subscriptions and teledensity - 2000- 2009
  • Table 22 - Historic - International internet bandwidth - 2005 - 2009
  • Table 23 - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2002 - 2009
  • Table 24 - Historic - AWCC's mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2011
  • Table 25 - Historic - Roshan's mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2009
  • Table 26 - Historic - MTN Afghanistan mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2009
  • Table 27 -Historic - Etisalat Afghanistan mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2009

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 - Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 2 - Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per capita
  • Chart 3 - Telecoms Maturity Index - Central Asia
  • Chart 4 - Fixed Broadband vs Mobile Penetration - Central Asia (selected countries)
  • Chart 5 - Change in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Chart 6 - Change in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2013 - 2025
  • Chart 7 - Growth in the number of MTN Afghanistan's mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2020
  • Chart 8 - Decline in MTN Afghanistan's mobile ARPU - 2011 - 2020
  • Chart 9 - Development of MTN Afghanistan's revenue - 2014 - 2020
  • Chart 10 - Change in the number of fixed broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
  • Chart 11 - Internet users and penetration - 2009 - 2018
  • Chart 12 - Increase in international internet bandwidth - 2010 - 2019
  • Chart 13 - Growth in the number of fixed line subscriptions and teledensity - 2010- 2025

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 - Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 - Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 - 3G licence awards by operator and date
  • Exhibit 4 - 3G service launches by operator and date
  • Exhibit 5 - Licensed ISPs - March 2020
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