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Last month, I was honored to receive International Finance Magazine’s award as Afghanistan’s Best Media and Telecom CEO. International Finance Magazine (www.internationalfinance.com), provides the world’s leading executives with vital information and analysis about important financial, technological and corporate trends within emerging markets.
Receiving IFM’s award is a powerful, global recognition of the transformative role that Afghan Wireless and The Bayat Group have proudly and gratefully played in creating entire new sectors of Afghanistan’s economy. Afghan Wireless is not only our nation’s first wireless communications company—we founded Afghanistan’s wireless communications industry.
When we launched Afghan Wireless in 2002, Afghanistan didn’t have an international dialing code, there was no working landline telephone system and many people traveled to other countries just to place a telephone call. Today, AWCC is Afghanistan’s most technologically advanced wireless communications company. We’re proud to offer five-million Afghans in all 34 provinces, the best world-class 4G LTE, 3.75G+ and 3G Voice, Data, Internet and My Money Mobile Payment Services.
Our company has grown rapidly in sixteen years—and so too has Afghanistan’s wireless communications sector. It’s now the largest and most vibrant part of Afghanistan’s economy—so much so, that our industry provides the Government of Afghanistan with 25% of its total tax revenue. In May 2017, The Afghan Ministry of Finance named Afghan Wireless as Afghanistan’s Best Large Taxpayer—and we’re the only telecommunications company ever to receive this honor.
Sixteen years after the first call was made using AWCC’s wireless network, we continue to develop new technologies and new mobile based services which are providing Afghans with fast, affordable communications and innovative financial services. AWCC is the first and only mobile communications company providing 4G LTE services to the people of Afghanistan. Our 4G LTE network became operational in May 2017, and the strong demand for 4G LTE connectivity led AWCC to double the capacity of our 4G LTE network within four months of its initial launch.
AWCC’s My Money mobile payments service is being used for almost every type of financial transaction—from paying the salaries of employees, topping up wireless accounts—and now, you can visit any of our AWCC Brand Shops in Kabul and use My Money to pay your DABS electricity bill—now that’s what I call progress!
Mobile payments and lightning-fast 4G LTE communications are just two examples of an exciting new generation of mobile services that we’ll be launching in 2018. And each of AWCC’s innovations in mobile payments, smartphones, applications and broadband services are made with one mission in mind: we’re determined to help Afghans connect to the world and create opportunities to build better lives.
Our selection by International Finance Magazine as Afghanistan’s Best Media and Telecom CEO is a welcome recognition of the progress that The Bayat Group has made as a company—but much more importantly—this award acknowledges the hard work of everyone at Afghan Wireless and The Bayat Group. Above all else, the award recognizes Afghanistan’s progress as a nation.
All of us at The Bayat Group are grateful for—and proud of—the opportunity we’ve been given to serve Afghans. We will continue to develop services which not only connect our country to the world, but seek to empower, encourage and champion Afghanistan’s technological development, economic and social progress. And we look forward to serving the people of Afghanistan for many, many years to come.
Until next time,
Dr. Ehsanollah Bayat
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Founder and CEO, Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC)
Founder and CEO, Ariana Television and Radio (ATN)
Co-Founder, The Bayat Foundation