The end of the Taliban regime brought in a new light for Afghan citizens, but many were still left in the dark when it came to communications. While the country was becoming more modern in a social and governmental respect, Afghanistan lagged behind other nations when it came to business and technology. Many people wondered—how could they start businesses without the use of crucial technologies to expand within Afghanistan and beyond?
Ehsan Bayat of Afghan Wireless found a way to bring new technologies to his native country in an effort to improve their lives. Bayat is a native Afghan who moved to the United States to obtain a formal education in engineering. During his time in the U.S., Bayat established an international telecommunications company called Telephone Systems International. He also had other business ventures that gave him the combined experience needed to help Afghanistan usher in a new wave of communication technology to improve the nation’s economy.
After the Taliban regime ended, Bayat was able to establish a joint venture in which TSI and the Ministry of Communications in Afghanistan were able to support a new wireless company. In 2002, Bayat unleashed the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC). Up until this time, Afghanistan didn’t have a wireless network at all. This meant no cell phone use among the public.
When the AWCC set up its network, then-Interim President Hamid Karzai placed a phone call to Germany during a celebration of the new technology. With wireless communications technology, more entrepreneurs can better realize their dreams in hopes of building new and successful businesses. Until this time, many Afghans were restricted within their own towns—this left for little potential in the way of business growth.
Not only does the AWCC aid economic growth within Afghanistan, but the company itself also helps the job market by the employment of local citizens. Afghans work at the corporate headquarters in Kabul, filling positions such as help desk engineers, customer service and quality control. In addition, the AWCC has hundreds of field engineers who help set up new network components as well as to help install services for the public.
Telecommunications is a necessity when it comes to operating business through the new millennium. Even if you don’t own your own business per se, it is likely that you use your phone for your job at some point. The world is moving at an even quicker pace these days, which is why proper networks and technologies are so crucial to employ.
The AWCC recently hit its 10-year mark. Given the substantial economic growth in Afghanistan, it is hard to imagine what the country was like before the AWCC installed the first public mobile phone network. Currently, the company continues to employ Afghan citizens and take the communications system to a whole new level. Bayat is still the chairman of the company, and he also started a non-profit foundation with the AWCC. Known as the Bayat Foundation, the organization improves the lives of others through clean water, healthcare, education and shelter among many other good deeds.