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“Roshan” promises a bright future for GSM digital services in Afghanistan


The word `Roshan` means `light` in Dari and Pashto, Afghanistan’s two most widely spoken languages.The word `Roshan` means `light` in Dari and Pashto, Afghanistan’s two most widely spoken languages.Kabul, Afghanistan, 26 June 2003 - “Roshan” is the brand under which Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd. (TDCA) will introduce its digital GSM wireless services. The word “Roshan” means “light” in Dari and Pashto, Afghanistan’s two most widely spoken languages.

“We hope to enable connections that will revive the trust, friendship and cooperation necessary to bring the country out of a troubled past into a bright future,” said Mr. Karim Khoja, TDCA’s Chief Executive Officer. “This brand name underscores our commitment to bring a new era of high quality and reliable communication to Afghanistan,” continued Mr. Khoja.

His Excellency Mr. Mohd. Masoom Stanekzai, Afghan Minister of Communications today made the first test telephone call over Roshan’s state-of-the-art digital GSM wireless network. The call was made at 11:30 a.m. this morning from the Minister’s office at the Ministry of Communications to Mr. Khoja who was located in the city centre of Kabul. The call lasted approximately four minutes and was completed successfully.

“This telephone call is an important one because it symbolizes what is being done to help this country,” said Minister Stanekzai during the conversation. “It demonstrates TDCA’s concern about the quality of service, its coverage and the contribution that it is making to revitalise our economy.”

The call marks the commencement of a four-to-six week test phase of the Roshan network. During this period, the Company will test network quality, sales processes and customer care facilities. “This will prepare us to fully deliver on our commitment to excellence,” said Mr. Khoja.

TDCA plans to deliver services of world-class quality in Afghanistan. The Roshan network will include features such as roaming, data and fax. The quality of the network will be closely monitored to ensure low blocked call rates (the number of times you cannot make a call when in an area of coverage) and dropped call rates (the number of calls which are not able to be completed). Network build-out is now well underway, with construction in progress on all of its sites in the Kabul area. TDCA’s state-of-the-art Alcatel switch is currently under deployment and the project is working towards a commercial launch after the four-to-six week test phase of Roshan’s network.

For further information, please contact:
Karim Khoja
Chief Executive Officer
Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd.
Kabul, Afghanistan
E-mail: karim.khoja@roshan.af  
Website: www.roshan.af  

Notes:
“Roshan” is the brand name for wireless GSM services to be launched in Kabul by Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd.
Meaning “light” in Afghanistan’s two most widely spoken languages, Dari and Pashto, Roshan hopes to enable connections that will revive the trust, friendship and cooperation necessary to bring the country out of a troubled past into a bright future.

The first telephone call, to begin the testing phase of Roshan’s state-of-the-art digital GSM wireless network, was made by His Excellency Mr. Mohd. Masoom Stanekzai, Afghan Minister of Communications on Thursday, June 26, 2003 .

Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Limited (TDCA) is an Afghan company licensed by the government to provide modern mobile telecommunications services across the country.

TDCA is owned by an international consortium formed by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Monaco Telecom International (MTI), US-based MCT Corp. and worldwide telecommunications leader, Alcatel. AKFED holds 51% of the equity in the operating company, MTI 35% and MCT 9%. Alcatel has a 5% equity holding in the company and also provides financing for technical equipment.

Initially targeted at six main cities - Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kunduz, the phased initiative entails a preliminary investment of US$55 million. TDCA expects to expand it’s coverage to other cities over the next four to five years. Subsequent phases will raise investment in the GSM network to US$120 million over the coming decade.

TDCA is committed to creating employment and professional development opportunities for Afghan women and men. TDCA has already hired and is training Afghans in the areas of Marketing, Sales, Customer Care, Finance, IT, Human Resource, Network and Administration.

TDCA aims to provide superior network quality, wide coverage, access to broad points of sale and excellent customer care.

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