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Afghanistan offers internet at 34-time higher rate compared to India

Afghanistan offers internet at 34-time higher rate compared to India

Aug 08, 2020 - 16:02

KABUL (Pajhwok): The internet price has been reduced in Afghanistan from nine afghanis per one GB data to 6.5 afghanis, but the rate is still 34 times higher as compared to India and seven times compared to Pakistan.

Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry spokesman Hamid Poya told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghanistan purchased the internet from Pakistan and Kazakhstan and then sold to telecom companies.

He said previously the telecom firms offered one GB data to customers for nine afghanis, but the rate had been reduced to 6.5 afghanis.

Poya said telecom companies had promised to further cut the internet price, but the promise remained unfulfilled. However, Afghan Wireless and Salaam network had somehow reduced the internet price.

“We are not happy with services offered by the telecom companies. They should offer internet at affordable and cheap rate,” he said, adding the government was ready to reduce the internet price if the telecom firms did so.

A number of telecom companies have been operating in Afghanistan and each offers the internet at different rate.

According available information, Etisalat offers one GB internet data for one month for 250 afghanis, Salaam network for 92 afghanis, Roshan offers one GB plus 200mb free for facebook for 250 afghanis, ATM offers 870mb for 299 afghanis and 21gb for 399 afghanis and Afghan Wireless offers one GB data for a week for 125 afghanis.

It is worth mentioning that these telecommunication networks offer other monthly internet data bundles which are more economical as compared to 1GB monthly bundle.

The price of monthly 10GB internet data is 1,099 afs, MTN 6.8GB internet data 725 afs, Etisalat10GB internet data 999 afs and Afghan Wirless offers 4GB at the cost of 800 afs.

As compared to regional countries, the internet rate is high in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, the rate of one GB internet is equal to 22 afghanis and the same costs just 4.5 afghanis in India.

Comparing the prices, telecom companies offer internet to Afghans 34 times higher than India and seven times higher than Pakistan.

Hamid, an Afghan national living in Pakistan, said Zongtelecom company offered 30gb internet for one month against 1500 Pakistani rupees (682 afghanis) Ufone offered six Gb for 500 rupees, Jazz offered five gb data for 70 rupees.

A journalist in India, SidharthSibal, told Pajhwok that ARTEL offered 150gb internet for 799 Indian rupee (854 afghanis) and VODA phone offered 40GB internet for 399 and GIO offered 24GB for 149 rupees.

WolasGhorzan civil society group leader Zia Wadan said the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regularity Authority (ATRA) had promised to reduce the internet price and improve its service, but it did not happen.

Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry spokesman Hamid Poya said it was not their job to control the internet prices as it was the responsibility of ATRA.

ATRA spokesman Mohammad SaeedShinwari said they held meetings with telecom firms a few days back and it was expected in near future that not only the prices would be reduced but the quality and service of internet would be improved.



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