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Etisalat inks deal for Afghan expansion

Telco to receive $3.4 million subsidy to deploy services to remote communities

The TDF project is intended to expand mobile coverage to remote regions of Afghanistan.
The TDF project is intended to expand mobile coverage to remote regions of Afghanistan.

Etisalat Afghanistan will receive a $3.4 million subsidy from the Afghan government to launch mobile services in remote areas of the country. 

Etisalat Afghanistan, which is 100%-owned by the UAE's Etisalat Group, was selected by the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) to deploy and manage 23 base stations in 17 rural districts in nine provinces of the country.

The agreement is part of ATRA's Telecommunication Development Fund (TDF) project, an initiative designed to expand telecoms services to remote villages and communities.

The agreement was signed by A. Wakil Shergul, chairman of the ATRA Board and Saeed Hamad Al Hamli, CEO, Etisalat Afghanistan.

"This agreement with Afghanistan Telecommunications Authority (ATRA) is in line with our commitment with the people and government of Afghanistan to provide communications access to the un-served population residing in far flung and highly remote areas," Al Hamli said.

Etisalat, which launched services in Afghanistan in 2007, has about 4 million subscribers and covers 29 provinces in Afghanistan.

Etisalat competes with Roshan, MTN and Afghan Telecom in Afghanistan.