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|Karim Khoja – CEO|
In January 2003, Roshan was awarded the second GSM license in Afghanistan. This was at a time when there was only one other mobile phone operator (Afghan Wireless) in Afghanistan. Due to decades of civil wars. there was almost only limited telecommunications infrastructure in place in the country. Prior to the fall of the Taliban, phone lines were not accessible to the population, and Afghans had to travel abroad to make international calls.
Roshan, which means "light" or "hope" in Persian, is one of Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications providers. Today, Roshan’s GSM network reaches 240 cities and towns across all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. The network covers over 60% of the population, including the most remote rural areas.
Roshan is one of the largest investors, private companies and taxpayers in Afghanistan. It has invested nearly $600 million in the telecommunications infrastructure in Afghanistan. Roshan is also continuing to expand its network in areas where there is no or limited cellular coverage.
Roshan employs over 1,100 people, of whom 20% are women. Indirectly, the company has added over 30,000 jobs to the Afghan economy through its top-up stations, retail stores and public call offices.
Roshan introduced 3G in April 2013. It was the third company in the market to have been granted a 3G license after Etisalat (UAE-based telecom), and MTN (South Africa-based telecom), waiting to ensure it could deliver the highest quality service. It has 3G service in Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar, Herat, and Kunduz.
The list of Roshan's shareholders include:
- 51.00%: Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED)
- 36.75%: Monaco Telecom
- 12.25%: TeliaSonera AB
Roshan is the largest telecom provider in Afghanistan. Major competitors include Etisalat, MTN, Afghan Wireless and Afghan Telecom.
Roshan Community is the company's dedicated corporate social responsibility arm. It aims to make a positive impact on the communities in which it operates. Through its numerous programs, Roshan has directly improved the lives of more than 200,000 Afghans through many projects, including:
- Serving over half a million meals per year with Afghan NGO, Aschiana
- Installing 32 e-learning centers
- Constructing 26 playgrounds to facilitate fun and joy for local children
- Delivering vital clean water to remote communities through the construction of more than 150 wells
- Building 10 schools to benefit local communities and encourage education of Afghan youth
- Connecting 4 rural hospitals with international medical institutions through telemedicine links facilitating access to diagnoses and training from specialists in otherwise unreached local communities
Products and services
|Aali (SIM)||SIM card designed and targeted to the mass market. Includes Azizan benefits (Friends & Family), per second billing and an incoming bonus on all calls.|
|Yaaran (SIM)||SIM card designed and customized for Afghan youth. Offers free off-peak calls after the second minute and discounted rates on SMS messages, along with per-second-billing and the inbound bonus to those in the Yaraan community.|
|Post-paid||Unique postpaid offering provides customers with billing flexibility|
|Public Call Offices (PCOs)||Over 11,000 PCOs are operational across the country. PCOs allow Afghans to make calls without needing to buy a handset and SIM|
|IVR||IVR content provides customers with the opportunity to access content via an interactive voice platform. Users can download or listen to music, ring tones, greetings, jokes, poetry, health tips, recipes and other information.|
|ETopUp||Enables a Roshan customer to refill a prepaid airtime account without using a scratch card. In addition, customers can top up any amount they choose with a minimum refill amount of 25 AFS.|
|SMS||National, international, and roaming text message service|
|SMS Content Downloads||Entertainment service that enables customers to download ring tones, picture messages, and logos|
|SMS Voting||Provides an interactive service for Media and Media consumers. Users can use SMS to vote for their favorite show or participate in quizzes|
|GPRS||General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) was launched in Kabul in 2007 and allows for wireless internet browsing on cell phones and laptops.|
|BlackBerry||Roshan was the first provider in Afghanistan to offer BlackBerry service. The service offers virtual office connectivity while on the move.|
In 2008, Roshan introduced the M-Paisa money transfer service, which enables registered Roshan customers to transfer money using their mobile phone for peer-to peer transfer, repayment of microfinance loans, purchase of airtime and salary disbursement for companies. Roshan partnered with Vodafone to launch this service and M-Paisa now operates on a Comviva platform.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Roshan.|
- Official website
- The Economist: Shining a Light
- Hisham, Hishamuddin (11/3/2007)1500 Public Call Office to Be Established in Rural Areas of Afghanistan, Anis Newspaper
- (6/21/2007) Roshan And Cisco To Take Telemedicine To Afghanistan, Wireless Healthcare
- (7/25/2005) Org Infomatics
- BBC Monitoring World Media. (2/26/2008) Afghanistan: Mobile-phone money-transfer service launched.
- Xinhua General News Service. (3/2/2008) Armed men destroy mobile phone tower in S. Afghanistan.
- Reuters. (9/25/2008) Afghan wireless industry plagued by security issues. The Globe and Mail (Canada), Pg. B11.
- Anneli Groenewald. (10/1/2008) CSR and the environment: Developing countries: Social working. TT Magazine.
- Thai Press Reports. (8/14/2008) Afghanistan: ADB supports expansion of mobile phone services in Afghanistan.