NETSOL LAUNCHES THE FASTEST INTERNET SERVICE
A highly professional team to manage the network
By Syed M. Aslam
Aug 14 - 20, 2000
Netsol, a leading international consultant and software developer, has put Pakistan on the world IT map by winning hi-end orders from blue-chip multinational companies across the globe. Following its success internationally, Netsol is set to change the face of Pakistan's IT scenario by launching a value-added Internet and e-commerce service this week.
Netsol, the first and the only Pakistan-origin listed company on the NASDAQ stock exchange, has established a fully owned subsidiary Netsol eR (eReady) Inc which is based in Virginia- the Silicon Valley of the US' east coast. Netsol eR has launched NetsolCONNECT, a nationwide ISP under the brand name Netsol iR which has commenced operations from Pakistan's business capital, Karachi. It will set up the ISPs in seven more cities by end of this year.
What distinguishes NetsolCONNECT from the existing ISPs is that it will offer Internet connectivity and also a range of value-added services to promote e-commerce initiatives including website development, software for e-solutions both for the corporate as well individual users.
Talking to PAGE the managing director of Netsol UK Ltd., Naeem Ghauri said that NetsolCONNECT will offer an Internet connectivity which will be 8 to 10 times faster than the competition at the same or may be even lower prices. 'We will be using a much bigger bandwidth of 14 megabyte initially compared to 2 megabyte used by our closest rival at present and will increase it to 16 Mb in next few months. In fact iReady's bandwidth is bigger than the combined bandwidths of top five ISPs in the country,' he added.
The broadband infrastructure will enable iReady to facilitate large volume of data transactions. Naeem said that despite making tremendous headway Pakistan still remains the largest virgin IT market in the world which offers tremendous potential for value-added Internet services to cater to the rising demand in the country. 'We will provide the cutting edge technology, e-solutions by building up the first nationwide IT backbone in Pakistan, which will go beyond providing just Internet connectivity. We are not focusing our attention on earning revenue by just connecting people but are interested in offering a wide range of value-added services such as solutions for Active Server Pages (ASPs) and a portal,' he added.
IReady is targeting the corporate and the retail sectors as well as other ISPs by offering them a connectivity on its first nationwide IT backbone. In addition, it has plans to develop a wireless infrastructure to help the rural and remote areas get digitally connected. With the soft launch this week iReady already enjoy a 5,000 strong subscriber base and will limit it to 8,000 when it will go for the full-blown launch in early October.
Asked how can iReady afford to offer competitive, or even lower Internet prices than its competitors, when it has to absorb a much greater cost for the 8-10 fold bandwidth, Naeem said that 'we are eyeing for turnover to enable us not to reflect the bandwidth cost in our Internet charges as we are confident to capture a big share of the market.'
Talking about the financial impact of Netsol's e-commerce initiatives he said that iReady will provide the corporate and individual Internet users of Pakistan the much needed access by opening up international business venues which otherwise were denied to them due to lack of reliable, secure and speedy infrastructure. It will help the local businesses to develop e-commerce presence and allow them to break the geographical barriers to market their goods and services for the overall benefit of the national economy. 'We are building the cyber highway for the benefit of the corporate as well as retail sector,' he added.
Talking to PAGE the vice president of Netsol eR, Amer Saleem, said that the company's local foray will serve as an equaliser for the retail as well as the corporate sector as it will be suited for companies of all sizes as well as all kinds of budgets. We intend to treat the local ISPs as corporate clients by helping them get connected on our nationwide IT backbone, he added.
He said that in the initial phase Karachi will be connected to the IT backbone while in the second phase Lahore and Islamabad will be simultaneously connected. The Network Operation Centre in North Amercia will serve as the eyes and ears to monitor the different locations in various cities to find and fix any problem in advance. With cutting edge technology we aim to provide a reliable and speedy service whose quality of service and price would be hard to match, he added.
Amer disclosed that the company has already appointed some 300 dealers in Karachi alone to provide an equivalent of 3S- sales, service and spares — network used by auto manufacturers the worldover. More dealers will be appointed in Lahore and Islamabad by end of this year, he added.
He said that Netsol eR will have the full control of all data traffic, quality of service, quality managed service through fully owned and managed routers overseas enabling it to offer quick-managed network programmes for the subscribers. It will also offer a strong level of security as we don't have to rely on other carriers other than the primary carrier for connectivity. We will have our own highly professional team to manage the network to ensure back-up facilities and a fault-free network, he added.