Cities around the world annually celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on May 17. In the past, Kabul has joined the event in recognition of the increasing reach of telecommunications technology in Afghanistan. Investment in telecommunications in Afghanistan has topped $1.7 billion, and the industry employs more than 100,000 people and has contributed over $170 million in revenue to the government.
Afghan companies have embraced the expansion of telecommunications access as a way to lead the country forward. After significant investments from industry players, the government estimates that 86 percent of Afghanistan is reachable by telecommunications services. Afghanistan has also announced plans to launch its first telecommunications satellite, and its government has entered discussions with satellite manufacturers to launch the project. The satellite is expected to cost between $250 million and $300 million and to help expand and improve Internet service in Afghanistan. While millions of Afghans have been able to tap into the telecommunications revolution through mobile phones, only a small percentage currently have Internet access.