By Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Salaam Network wants to expand its 3G internet services across the country by the end of 215 as public demand goes several notches high.
In an interview with Afghanistan Times, the Managing Director of Salaam Network Khaleeq Ahmad said the company is providing 3G services in 27 provinces—wherever Fiber Optic system is active while others telecommunication companies don’t provide such facility.
He said that plan is on the card to expand the services in all 34 provinces through an “Expansion Plan” by the end of this year because public demand is growing.
“Every day we receive hundreds of messages, people asking us to start the 3G Salam internet and cellular services in different provinces including Farah, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Faryab, Zabul and Uruzgan. Hence, the 3G system would be introduced in other provinces while increasing number of towers to 1300 by the end 2015,” he said.
The 3G service has high demand in the southern provinces, particularly in Lashkargah, capital of Helmand, and Kandahar because they use smart phone while the other companies do not have it, he said. Salaam had plan to increase the number coverage stations to 250 in the capital by the end of current year aimed at providing high quality and affordable services as compared to other telecom companies, he said.
Salaam 3G services launched from 600 telecom sites in the beginning and had 600 customers in the first six months.
Later the number of customers touched 1.1 million in one year and the revenue has also been increased. Therefore, 600 more cell towers were installed in the second phase because the number of users grew rapidly.
The company is going to announce two new packages for the New Year (Nowroz). The packages include SMS, calling and AL data services to customers at cheaper rate.
Provision of uninterrupted services is key objective of the company, said Ahmad Khaleeq. He added that Salaam Network is working even in insecure and remote areas while some of the telecom companies suspended their services.
Regarding complaints of Salaam 3G users about technical problems he said the 3G service does not work properly in some parts of the capital but efforts are underway to resolve the all outstanding issues in this regard.
Ahmad Parwaiz, a subscriber of Salaam 3G service, said that the company is providing poor coverage in Charai-e-Qambar and Macrorayan areas of Kabul City.
Farhad Ahmad, another subscriber, said that Salaam 3G does not work in the capital city.
Ahmad Khaleeq acknowledged that in some parts of the capital customers were not satisfied from the company’s services but said: “It is a new company and takes time to fix technical problems in all parts of Kabul City. However, wherever are the company’s towers, subscribers are enjoying good quality services there.”
He said that competition among the telecommunication companies is also a factor responsible for poor quality service. “The company was not allowed to fix antenna in the capital city in order to provide better Salaam 3G service.”
However, he assured the customers that all problems would be resolved by the end of current year. He said that Salaam 3G internet service is available in 27 provinces while cellular services is provided nationwide including in the remote areas.
Appreciating public for their support, he said that in many provinces including Badakhshan, Ghazni and Daikundi, locals helped the company to install towers. Khaleeq went on saying that 18 towers had been installed on the state land alone in Daikundi.
He said the company would announce 4G service in 2015 or next year on temporary basis.
Replying to a query regarding insecurity he said that six towers were destroyed by the insurgents but there is no considerable concern in this regard.