Roshan (telco)

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Roshan (Template:Lang-fa) is Afghanistan's leading telecommunications provider, serving nearly 6.0 million active subscribers.

In January 2003, Roshan was awarded the second GSM license in Afghanistan. This was at a time when there was almost no or limited telecommunications infrastructure in place due to decades of civil wars. National calls were prohibitively expensive and Afghans had to travel abroad to make international calls.

Roshan, which means "light" or "hope" in Persian, is Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications provider. 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 the largest investor, private company and taxpayer 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 is the largest tax payer to the government of Afghanistan since 2003, having paid nearly $400 million in taxes. This comprises approximately 5% of the Afghan government’s annual revenue. The telecommunications industry together comprises approximately 10% of the Afghan government's annual revenue.

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.


Roshan's shareholders are all foreigners to Afghanistan. The list of international shareholders includes:


Roshan is the largest telecom provider in Afghanistan. Major competitors include Etisalat, MTN, Afghan Wireless and Afghan Telecom.

Roshan Community

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

Product Description
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.
Saadat (SIM) SIM card designed and customized for the business market. Includes digressive rates on national and international calls after the second minute, 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.

See also

External links


  • Template:Official
  • 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.