Roshan (Persian: روشن) is a leading Afghan telecommunications provider, serving nearly 6.0 million active subscribers.
In January 2003, Roshan was awarded the second GSM license in Afghanistan. This was at a time when there was only one other mobile phone operator (Afghan Wireless) in Afghanistan. Due to decades of civil wars. there was almost only limited telecommunications infrastructure in place in the country. Prior to the fall of the Taliban, phone lines were not accessible to the population, and Afghans had to travel abroad to make international calls.
Roshan, which means "light" or "hope" in Persian, is one of Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications providers. Today, Roshan’s GSM network reaches 240 cities and towns across all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. The network covers over 60% of the population, including the most remote rural areas.
Roshan is one of the largest investors, private companies and taxpayers in Afghanistan. It has invested nearly $600 million in the telecommunications infrastructure in Afghanistan. Roshan is also continuing to expand its network in areas where there is no or limited cellular coverage.
Roshan employs over 1,100 people, of whom 20% are women. Indirectly, the company has added over 30,000 jobs to the Afghan economy through its top-up stations, retail stores and public call offices.
Roshan introduced 3G in April 2013. It was the third company in the market to have been granted a 3G license after Etisalat (UAE-based telecom), and MTN (South Africa-based telecom), waiting to ensure it could deliver the highest quality service. It has 3G service in Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar, Herat, and Kunduz.
Roshan's shareholders are all foreigners to Afghanistan. The list of international shareholders includes:51.00% - Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED)
36.75% - Monaco Telecom
12.25% - TeliaSonera AB
Roshan is the largest telecom provider in Afghanistan. Major competitors include Etisalat, MTN, Afghan Wireless and Afghan Telecom.
Roshan Community is the company's dedicated corporate social responsibility arm. It aims to make a positive impact on the communities in which it operates. Through its numerous programs, Roshan has directly improved the lives of more than 200,000 Afghans through many projects, including:Serving over half a million meals per year with Afghan NGO, Aschiana
Installing 32 e-learning centers
Constructing 26 playgrounds to facilitate fun and joy for local children
Delivering vital clean water to remote communities through the construction of more than 150 wells
Building 10 schools to benefit local communities and encourage education of Afghan youth
Connecting 4 rural hospitals with international medical institutions through telemedicine links facilitating access to diagnoses and training from specialists in otherwise unreached local communities
In 2008, Roshan introduced the M-Paisa money transfer service, which enables registered Roshan customers to transfer money using their mobile phone for peer-to peer transfer, repayment of microfinance loans, purchase of airtime and salary disbursement for companies. Roshan partnered with Vodafone to launch this service and M-Paisa now operates on a Comviva platform.