Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications & IT (MCIT) has awarded a 3G concession to Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC), the fifth and final operator to be issued with a licence. No details were given regarding the cost of the licence, or the frequencies included, although all previous 3G authorisations have sold for USD25 million. Speaking at a press conference, Minister of Communications Amirzai Sangin commented that the government is looking to ensure that internet services are available to 80% of the population and territory of Afghanistan within a year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, AWCC’s larger wireless rivals Etisalat Afghanistan and MTN Afghanistan were awarded the first and second 3G licences in 1H 2012, whilst Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (TDCA, operating as Roshan) was handed the third concession in September that year. State-backed Afghan Telecom (Aftel) was the fourth provider to be green-lit for 3G wireless data in late-2013 as part of the telco’s transition to providing fully mobile services.
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