After many years of war and civil strife, an encouraging aspect of Afghanistan’s efforts to rebuild has been the considerable success evident in the creating of a functional telecommunications sector virtually from nothing.
According to Research & Markets, telecommunications networks now cover over 90% of the population, but Afghanistan continues to be confronted by challenges. Efforts are being made to roll out fixed-line services, but the country's telecommunications services rely heavily on its mobile infrastructure.
Afghanistan is making good progress on the roll-out of a nationwide optical fibre backbone, with the MCIT officially launching the 'Wakhan Corridor Fibre Optic Survey Project'.
Fixed-line broadband market penetration has not grown significantly over the last five years. Over the next five years to 2023 growth is expected to continue but overall market penetration will remain extremely low.
Afghanistan has a highly competitive mobile market that continues to flourish despite the background of the ongoing conflict throughout the country. The mobile sector has been boosted by the absence of effective fixed-line alternatives. There are five mobile operators competing in Afghanistan's telecom sector, which has experienced reasonably strong growth.
Afghanistan's mobile market has experienced reasonably strong growth over 2012 to 2018 period from a relatively small base. Moderately strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023.