ADB provides Innovative Services
Asian Development Bank has been extending loans and technical assistance to South Asian countries for a broad range of development projects and programs. The Bank has helped thousands of poor households in remote areas of the region to benefit from its de
Mobile Telephony in Afghanistan
In absence of fixed telephone lines, demand for mobile phones in Afghanistan has been rising over the past few years. However, service rollout was constrained by limited financing options in the challenging political and security environment. With help from Asian Development Bank’s private sector operations, the Telecom Development Company Afghanistan - known as Roshan and the largest operator with over 3.2 million subscribers - has been able to expand its mobile network infrastructure nationwide and improve its range of services. In July 2008, ADB provided its third loan to the process, this time $60 million. This followed loans of $35 million in late 2004 and $35 million in mid-2006. With expansion, Roshan has been able to lower the cost of its mobile phone services, increasing accessibility to the poor. It has also introduced mobile banking services for its poor, thereby bringing financial transaction services to a country where only 3% of the population has a bank account. The company is also installing solar photovoltaic panels to power telecom towers, thus reducing diesel fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Mobile technology is also helping improve the delivery of essential services such as health care, education, and security - connecting people and changing lives.