Press Release on Telecom Services Customers’ Complaints, ATRA Activities and Actions

Dr. Mohammad Najeeb Azizi, ATRA Chairman, ATRA Vice-Chairmen and Board Members participated the press conference held in the Government Media Center on the occasion and shared ATRA achievements and actions with people and media.

Mr. Azizi said that, “ATRA vision as a government regulatory authority toward future is to provide opportunity for changing Afghanistan to a country with digital economy where all public and private entities and community people are connected through modern, secure and universal infrastructure”.  “ATRA has prepared its five year road map with schedule  and telecommunication complaints and problems will be decreased to zero point within five next years by implementing this map”, he added.

ATRA shall achieve following services and facilities by implementing this map as Mr. Azizi said:

Special support and care to small and medium companies, service improvement and reduction of telecom and internet services cost to half of the price up to two next years, creating a competitive environment among telecom services providers, support for optical fiber national projects and ensuring terrestrial connectivity at national and international levels, introducing 4G and 5G services in the market, promoting telephone users to 95 percent, promoting internet users at least to 15 million, promoting government revenue from telecom sector over hundred million dollar, and providing employment opportunity for more than 50 thousand people.

He also added and stated that, “At least 500 schools and 80 % percent districts would be connected to internet services as well as creating ICT Lab and providing bandwidth for schools and universities and optical fiber connection for them, creating telemedicine centers through distance and optical fiber connectivity for hospitals, providing bandwidth and optical fiber connectivity for organizations related to the poor class, including blind school, strengthening regulatory environment for attracting investment  and introducing new technologies, equipping and standardizing ATRA are amongst this organization programs on track”.

He spoke about online complaints and recent complaints on telecom services and said that, “These complaints in particular include quality of service, credit loss, customer service problems, internet packages and additional costs per Mb after completing internet packages”. He added that, “ATRA took actions upon hearing about these complaints and afterward no company may violate conditions set out within their licenses and in case there are such violations, heavy fines have been imposed and to be imposed upon telecom companies”. No company may activate any packages without customer’s consent afterward in order to solve the problems. To activate and terminate the packages, customers are messaged about, ATRA customer service is entirely free of charge and companies’ customer service has been extended to seven time free call in a week and in case such calls complete, the customer is charged 1 one Afghani for each call. No company reserves this right to charge the customer from voice credit once internet package is zero. VAS services are banned except few important applications.

Mr. Aziz as well pointed out on problems impeding programs implementation and ATRA activates fulfillment. These problems include: security problem, SIM registration problem and electricity problem. The problems always make ATRA face slowdown in terms of implementing programs and carrying out activities.

It is worth mentioning that ATRA is an independent authority operating as a regulatory body in the telecom sector. The authority issues licenses to companies providing telecom and internet services to the people and also regulates their operations and activities through controlling and applying public access standards for services, technical resources such as, setting, allocating and administrating frequency as per laws, regulations and conditions within licenses.