Pages Navigation Menu
Learn, Share, Innovate, Network and Socialize

Mobile Applications in Afghanistan

Mobile Applications in Afghanistan

Afghanistan's telecom market enjoys a boom since the first mobile phones were introduced in Afghanistan back in early 2001/02. Today mobile covers 80% of the country and over 80% of the Afghans use mobile phones. The key market players are Roshan, Etisalat, MTN Afghanistan, Afghan Wireless and Afghan Telecom operating on national level.

As the mobile phone penetration rises and the competition gets tougher, the mobile operators are looking into different revenue streams. One such high revenue generating stream is the value added services (VAS) and other services that utilize mobile technologies such as mobile money. As of today, the number of mobile application services are not that high in Afghanistan but seems more interest is being created for new mobile application services. With the emergence of 3G, the number of these mobile applications will increase particularly those that use 3G and smartphones.

Bellow, i have gathered a list of current mobile applications and services available in Afghanistan with more to com

1. Paywast – An SMS based social networking system allowing subscribers to create open and closed groups and communicate among each other. A premium version of the system allows organizations to create their own private groups and communicate messages among employees.

Category: Mobile Social Networking
Mobile Technology: SMS

2.     MTN Life Style Services – The MTN Lifestyle Services center is a call center where MTN subscribers can call to get professional advice and consulting on the following issues:

  • a. Health / Mobile Health
  • b. Legal Services / Mobile Lawyer

The MTN customers can dial into the specified numbers (e.g 5050) to benefit from these services. The service itself is free and the only charges that the customers pay are the normal call charges.

Category: LifeStyle (Health, Legal)
Mobile Technology: IVR

3.     M-Paisa (http://www.roshan.af/Roshan/M-Paisa.aspx) - m-paisa is a mobile to mobile money transfer service started by one of the leading GSM operators in Afghanistan. They have been in operation for last 2 years or more with some success of adoption.

Category: Mobile Money
Mobile Technology: Built inside the SIM, SMS (?)

4.     ExpressPay Mobile Kiosk – An innovative service by Marikh Telecom utilizing mobile technologies allowing citizens to pay and receive various types of services through a mobile kiosk. Services currently rendered are purchase of mobile phone credits from selected GSM operators (Etisalat, Roshan, MTN and Afghan Telecom). The company plans to introduce various other payment services such as utility bills payment, tax payments and more.

Category: Mobile Payment
Mobile Technology: GPRS, POS Device

5.     M-Hawala (www.etisalat.af) This is a similar to m-paisa service, recently started by Etisalat Afghanistan, another GSM operator in Afghanistan

Category: Mobile Payment
Mobile Technology: Not enough information

6.     456 Service - This is an SMS and IVR based service started by Tolo.tv and its related media network. The service is used for mobile voting, mobile surveys, listening to news, music, and many other services.

Category: Infotainment
Mobile Technology: IVR, SMS

7.     455 Service - Also started by Tolo.tv and its related media network. It is a business directory service recently started. Businesses register with this service and anyone could call to get information about a business, its address, contacts etc.

Category: Business Directory
Mobile Technology: IVR, SMS

8.     SMS Alert service by Banks -A few banks including Azizi Bank, Ghazanfar Bank, Kabul Bank has implemented 1 way SMS alert for any account related activities. E.g when a deposit is made or withdrawal is done, an sms alert is sent to the account holder.

Category: Alerts
Mobile Technology: SMS

9.     SMS Banking - A few local banks have implemented basic SMS banking services, which allows customers to learn about their bank balance. This has very limited use.

Category: Mobile Banking
Mobile Technology: SMS

10.  3131 Service - This is a service started by Kabul Bank. Kabul Bank account holders can call this number to purchase air tickets to various destinations with special discount. The bank would directly debit the caller‟s (bank customer) bank accounts.

Category: Phone Banking
Mobile Technology: IVR

11.  SMS Job Alerts - This is a project in progress by our local partner, NETLINKS. Registered users on www.jobs.af website will get job alerts on jobs matching their profile. They can also apply for those jobs provided they have a complete resume on www.jobs.af. Jobs.af upon receipt of the SMS from the users will apply for that particular job on behalf of the jobseeker. The same service will also be extended to the government‟s jobs portal (www.jobs.gov.af), which is a portal, used by The Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan.

Category: Alerts
Mobile Technology: SMS

12.  Da Breshna Sherkat SMS Bills Notification – Da Breshna Sherkat which is a government owned enterprise is developing an SMS application to alert its users on their electricity bills and payments.

Category: Alerts
Mobile Technology: SMS

The software development industry being very new in Afghanistan with less players could contribute more to the development of new mobile application services working together with various stakeholders and the telcos. This for sure is going to be a lucrative market in future in Afghanistan. As mobile services and internet over mobile becomes widespread and affordable, more users would like to see new and innovative services other than the voice call feature alone.

If you know of any other mobile application services in Afghanistan, please share the information here by commenting

Credits: Picture credit goes to http://mhealthinsight.com/2010/09/27/tech4dev/

(4755)

Leave a Comment