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Afghanistan is going digital

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[Afganistan] In a war-ravaged country where few have any communication access at all, a second cellphone network is on its way in the six main cities of Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kunduz.

The Afghan government is expected to grant a license to Aga Khan's Fund for Economic Development, French phone equipment maker Alcatel, Monaco Telecom, and US operator MCT by the end of the year, as communications is seen as key to reconstructing the country.

The initial investment is $55m, with a further $65m to come. This is suspected as just the beginning in the revolution in communications in Afghanistan. Another $500,000 will be invested by ITU to assist in putting the structures in place and ensuring a smooth handover from the government monopoly to the private sector.

The overall priority is to take a country with only 40,000 phone lines into the digital age.

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