KABUL, Afghanistan, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Innovation drives growth and Roshan's market leadership position in Afghanistan
Roshan, Afghanistan's leading telecommunications provider, today announced that it is the first mobile operator in Afghanistan to surpass five million active customers, up from 30,000 customers in 2003 when the pioneering company launched its network. The milestone reaffirms Roshan's position as the number one telecommunications provider in Afghanistan based on both number of customers and overall SIM cards sold.
Roshan attributed its rapid customer growth in Afghanistan to its focus on innovation and meeting the individual needs and aspirations of its diverse customer base through market and regional segmentation, an unmatched range of voice and data products and services, and superior network quality. Roshan's state-of-the-art and cutting-edge nationwide network now reaches over 230 cities and towns across all 34 provinces in Afghanistan, covering over 60 percent of the population.
"Reaching this milestone demonstrates how far we have come towards reaching our goal of connecting people and bringing Afghanistan into the 21st century. In 2003, when we started operations, less than 100,000 people had access to a phone. Afghanistan was truly landlocked. Since then, Roshan has been proud to play a leading role in using mobile phone technology as a critical tool in driving socio-economic development of the country," said Karim Khoja, chief executive officer.
In reaching five million customers, Roshan has also achieved many other 'firsts' along the way:
- Market leader in data, including the first to introduce GPRS and BlackBerry.
- First to offer mobile money services through its M-Paisa "mobile wallet," to support growth of a financial ecosystem.
- Largest private sector job creator, creating over 30,000 legitimate jobs for Afghans, creating the future business leaders of the country.
- First operator to introduce a Corporate Social Responsibility arm, Roshan Community, whose projects include, building 16 playgrounds to provide children with a safe place to play, 10 schools to provide educational opportunities, and 60 wells to provide access to clean drinking water for over 114,000 people.
- Introduced an innovative Telemedicine project connecting medical centers in Karachi, Kabul, Bamyan and Faizabad for real-time diagnosis and training for health care practitioners.
- Largest private investor in Afghanistan's infrastructure, with over $500 million invested to-date.
Khoja added, "Our vision is to ensure that within the next five years, every Afghan has access to a mobile phone and to serve as a catalyst for change, supporting Afghans as we build a brighter tomorrow for the country."
Roshan's customer base has increased by more than 30 percent in the last year, with the addition of more than one million active customers since October 2010. Afghanistan remains among the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world, with some 15 million total customers, representing a mobile penetration rate of 35%.
Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan's leading telecommunications provider, with coverage in over 230 cities and towns and over 5 million active customers. Roshan directly employs more than 1,200 people and provides indirect employment to more than 30,000 people. Since its inception eight years ago, Roshan has invested over $500 million in Afghanistan and is the country's single largest investor and tax payer. Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan's reconstruction and socio-economic development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives in building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to Afghanistan and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.
Farah Kurji Jessica Anderson
Manager, Public Relations Vice President, Corporate
Roshan Hill & Knowlton
Mobile: +93-0-799-99-6813 Direct: +1-212-885-0492
Web: http://www.roshan.af Web: http://www.hillandknowlton.com