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    Afghanistan’s 1st 3G licence issued to Etisalat

    KABUL CITY (PAN): The Afghan government on Sunday awarded the first-ever licence for activating the Third Generation (3G) system worth $25 million (1.2 billion afghanis) to Etisalat telecommunication company.

    A contract to the effect was signed between representatives of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology (MTIT) and the United Arab Emirates telecom giant in Kabul.

    An improved system compared to digital and analogue regimes, the 3G technology provides a high-speed Internet facility for mobile phones.  The system has the capability of face-to-face video calls on mobile phone sets.

    Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Amirzai Sangin said the Afghan government had issued the first-ever 3G licence to the Etisalat.

    He hoped the move would lead to improved services in the field of information technology. The 3G system came to Afghanistan six months ago.  

    Sangin added the Etisalat would start providing the service for its clients next month. The service will be extended to all areas over the next two years.

    Four other licences will be also issued to Roshan, Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), MTN and Afghan Telecom in coming weeks. The government will earn $100 million from the licenses.

    Sangin said the 3G system would enable mobile users to get access to high-speed Internet, watch videos and have voice and video chats.

    Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal, who called the system an important step, said that it was an advanced technology that was yet to be used by Afghanistan’s neighbours.

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