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AFGHANISTAN

  • Chart displaying "Radio Frequency Spectrum Allocations in Afghanistan".
  • "New law signed to establish independent regulator this month," TeleGeography, 4 January 2006: "The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has signed a new Telecom Law to establish an independent regulator, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of Afghanistan (TRAA). To create the new body, existing regulator the Telecoms Regulatory Board (TRB) has been merged with the State Radio Inspection Department (SRID), previously part of the Ministry of Communications (MoC). The TRAA will be solely responsible for all regulatory functions in the telecom sector, including licensing, compliance, spectrum planning and assignment, numbering, ensuring network interconnection, promoting competition and consumer protection, whilst the MoC will take a policy-making role. The TRAA is due to formally commence operations by the middle of this month, once its budget has been approved by the Ministry of Finance."
  • Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority - the menu system on their website suggests that there are unlicensed frequency bands, but the page for them is blank in all 3 languages (Dari, Pashto and English).
  • "First ever ICT conference launched in Kabul," IRIN, 25 April 2006.
  • "The Jalalabad Fab Fi Network Continues to Grow With a Little Help from Their Friends," by Keith Berkoben, Free Range International, 5 February 2010: "...Pictured below is a makeshift reflector constructed from pieces of board, wire, a plastic tub and, ironically enough, a couple of USAID vegetable oil cans that was made today by Hameed, Rahmat and their friend 'Mr. Willy'. It is TOTALLY AWESOME, and EXACTLY what Fab is all about. For those of you who are suckers for numbers, the reflector links up just shy of -71dBm at about 1km, giving it a gain of somewhere between 5 and 6dBi. With a little tweaking and a true parabolic shape, it could easily be as powerful as the small FabFi pictured above (which is roughly 8-10dBi depending on materials). 25 simultaneous live nodes in Jalalabad. That's a new high. The map can't even keep up! For me, the irony of the graphic above is particularly acute when one considers that an 18-month World Bank funded infrastructure project to bring internet connectivity to Afghanistan began more than SEVEN YEARS ago and only made its first international link this June. That project, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, is still far from being complete while FabLabbers are building useful infrastructure for pennies on the dollar out of their garbage..."
  • "The whole city is your wifi with Afghan Telecom Air Cards," Afghan Telecom Corp. press release (no date, in English): "Afghan Telecom has launched Air Cards in Kabul city which is the first of it's kind to be offered in Afghanistan. The Air Cards give Afghan Telecom customers the choice of connecting from anywhere in the city. Now there is no need to have a WIFI Hot spot or no need to be bound to your desk. Just insert the Air Card in your Laptop and you can log into your Microsoft Outlook, surf the internet and chat from the lobby of hotels, sitting at the airport waiting for your flight or just relaxing in your bedroom. What's more, you can also make voice calls from your Air Card."
  • "Telecommunications and Internet Policy," Ministry of Communications, November 2003: "Afghanistan will follow international best practices and make available unlicensed spectrum to encourage rapid adoption of innovative wireless services... Licensed network operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) utilizing unlicensed spectrum for outdoor, retail or commercial use are required to register with the MoC. Registration will not be required for individual users... The unlicensed spectrum approved for usage in Afghanistan is the so-called ISM band in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ranges... Additional frequencies for unlicensed spectrum applications may be considered by TRAA from time to time."
  • "Focus on communications," IRIN, 5 February 2003: "At the Afghan Wireless Communication Company's desk in central Kabul, a scrum of men, jostling, shouting and pleading for mobile phones, is testament to the enthusiasm of Afghans to leap from the telecommunications stone age to the satellite age..."
  • "Afghan Development on the line," by Camelia Entekhabi-Fard, Eurasianet, 23 April 2002 - telecom market chaos and the importance of satellite phones.
  • "مقرره طرز استفاده از فريکونسی راديويي ودستگاه های مخابرات بيسيم درافغانستان" (Summary of Radio Spectrum Plan for Afghanistan), draft of 27 June 2003, International Telecommunication Union (in Dari?/Pashto?).
  • "Afghanistan Launches Spectrum Mobile Monitoring Station," Cellular News, 22 December 2006: "Afghanistan's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) has taken posession of a new radio spectrum monitor to ensure that illegal radio usage does not occur in the country..."
  • "UNDP connects Kabulis with wireless LAN," by Peter Orne, Worldpaper, 16 October 2003: "...the UN Development Programme, with $300,000 from France, began meeting the challenge of bringing some of Kabul's 2.5-million residents online. Since May [2003], UNDP has been setting up Internet-enabled telekiosks in post offices less than 10 km from the Ministry of Communications, the tallest building in Kabul. The Ministry is expected to take over operation of the telekiosks, each of which includes five PCs and a printer, as soon as October... While there are currently no barriers to using unlicensed frequencies in Afghanistan, the telekiosk project is using the ISM license-free 5.8-GHz band because the license-free 2.4-GHz band is so well used in Kabul..."
  • "Internet spreading in Afghanistan," by Amanullah Nasrat, SANA via Kashar News, 17 July 2005:
    "In a country where communications are often either poor or nonexistent, the Afghan government has launched a major effort to make internet access more widely available by introducing a digital wireless network. Currently operating only in the capital, the network will soon be available in 12 provinces and should be operational throughout the country by the end of the year, according to Communications Minister Amirzai Sangeen. So far, the government has spent 70 million US dollars on creating, and expects to spend another 50 million to complete the project this year..."
  • Afghanistan Telecom Brief by Ken Zita, Network Dynamics Associates (April 2004, 11 pages).
  • "Telecoms and Wireless, One Year Later: Afghanistan's Public Telecommunications - Progress during 2002" by Richard Burns (edited by Pat Daly), Development Gateway dossier on Afghanistan's Reconstruction.
  • "Semper Wi-Fi" by Bob Brewin, Federal Computer Week, 8 September 2004: "Marines tired of waiting to use their Afghan camp's Internet facilities have put together their own connection..."
  • "In Radio-centric Afghanistan, Western Donors Work with Local Realities" - a special-focus issue of Media Matters, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2 July 2004; includes an English translation of Afghanistan's new media law.

Asia & Pacific - Regional Overview