JULY 6, 2009 -- Afghan Telecom (AT), which touts itself as the country's first long-distance domestic private leased circuit (DPLC) and international private leased circuit (IPLC) provider using optical fiber, says it has signed an agreement with Roshan for capacity on the former's national optical backbone ring network. The optical infrastructure, constructed by AT, will complement Roshan's existing infrastructure, enabling Roshan to ensure the redundancy of its network and provide additional capacity to its subscribers.
AT and Roshan intend to expand the areas of their partnership in the coming months as the optical network is extended throughout Afghanistan and connected to "any part of the world" through its international connectivity to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Pakistan.
The Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and AT began construction of the Optical Fiber Cable Backbone Project (OFC) in April 2007. When completed, the OFC will bring high-speed and high-capacity telephony, Internet, and video services to 68 cities in 17 provinces of the country. The OFC project also is expected to generate significant direct and indirect employment in the country.
"This is an important milestone for the development of Afghanistan and the telecommunications industry. We are extremely pleased that Roshan is the first GSM operator to be entering into a commercial partnership with Afghan Telecom for fiber capacity," said His Excellency Amirzai Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
Roshan is the first GSM operator in Afghanistan to use the OFC. The OFC will enable Roshan to better serve its growing subscriber base, which today includes 3.5 million subscribers across Afghanistan's 34 provinces. AT under its social obligation will ensure that OFC capacity and bandwidth is also available to other companies and organizations operating in Afghanistan.
"We declared our interest in, and support for, the OFC project over four years ago and we are proud to be able to express our long-term commitment to Afghanistan by being Afghan Telecom's first major anchor tenant. We believe that this project can have a significant impact on the information and telecommunications sector in Afghanistan, ensuring the availability of competitively priced capacity and infrastructure to meet the growing needs of the industry. We look forward to strengthening our relationship and cooperation with AT in the years to come," said Karim Khoja, chief executive officer, Roshan.