According to the procedures introduced by the government, anyone who can present a national identification card and an amount of money (nowadays Afs50-100 equalling US$0.7 to 1.3) is able to receive a SIM card, which is easy to get. There is also another way to receive a SIM card. There are unregistered SIM cards that can be bought through the black market at half the price of the legal SIM cards. The government has no control on the issue. There is a debate nowadays in Afghanistan regarding possible cases of corruption related to how the government is using the taxes from mobile users which amount to 10 percent of all expenses. There is no accountability from the government in this regard and no one publically knows the amount of these taxes per month, since non-registered SIM cards are a potential source of unaccounted money, as deducted taxes from these cards are not calculated through the process.
SIM cards are activated within 24 hours of purchase. The paying system is pre-paid. Internet connection is provided through packages.
SMS texts are rarely used in rural areas because of illiteracy, while a small percentage use the technology in the cities. Calls are mainly used, at a one-way charge, unless it is on roaming and outside of the country. The person who calls pays 100 percent of the charges.
There are cultural and traditional barriers in Afghanistan on mobile usage for women. But usage from women is rising day by day and in the main cities men and women are using phones equally. The only difference is that men are using more than one SIM card and telephone, while women are normally using just one.