Call charges to drop by 50 per cent in three years

Kabul, November 7, 2006 (Pajhwok Afghan News) - Two leading cellular phone companies on Tuesday said call charges in the country would reduce by 50 per cent in the coming three years as stated by the Communication Minister earlier this week.

The minister, during a news conference, had said that call charges would likely to drop partly due to the competition among more cellular companies and partly due to the installation of the optic fibre network across the country.

Three cellular companies Roshan, AWCC and Areeba are presently operational in the country while a fourth in the name of Etisalat is likely to start functioning next year.

Dr Najibullah Kamali, public relations officer with Roshan, told Pajhwok Afghan News they were charging high call rates because their service was provided to the consumers via satellite.

The rates would automatically drop after the installation of the optic fibre network as announced by the minister, said the official. Besides, competition among the companies would also effect upon the coming down of charges as well as rates of the subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.

He said the SIM cards had register considerable decline during the previous few months as once its price was 15,000 afghanis, which has now come down to 500.

Press officer with the Areeba cell phone company Nazifullah Shaheen also agreed with the views of his Roshan's counterpart and said competition and establishment of the fibre network would bring the call charges down.