WATEEN TO DEVELOP FIBRE OPTIC NETWORK IN BALOCHISTAN
PROJECT ENTAILS LAYING OVER 1,100 KILOMETERS OF OPTICAL FIBRE NETWORK.
July 18 - 24, 2011
Wateen Telecom Ltd., Pakistan's leading telecommunications company, has been awarded a PKR2.4 billion project to develop an extensive optical fibre network in Balochistan. The project, called USF Balochistan Package 4 (BP-4), entails the laying of over 1,100 km of an optical fibre network in northern Balochistan.
An amount of PKR 1.975 billion will be provided by USF in the form of a subsidy; the rest of the cost will be borne by Wateen.
The new optical fibre network will connect twenty un-served cities and towns including Gulistan, Musakhel, Barshor, Duki, Harnai, Ziarat, Sinjawi, Zhob, Sherani and Qamardinkarez. Wateen has joined hands with the Universal Service Fund Company (USF Co.) to undertake this project of national importance, which will go a long way in bridging the digital divide in the country. The project, funded through a USF subsidy, will provide state of the art digital infrastructure in remote areas of Balochistan, and could be further exploited to build IT, telecom, education, health and business services in these areas.
The signing ceremony was held in Quetta last week, where Wateen CEO Naeem Zamindar and USF CEO Pervaiz Iftikhar formally inked the agreement. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was also attended by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Khan Raisani, Secretary IT MoIT Saeed Ahmad Khan, PTA Chairman Dr Yaseen Malik, and other key dignitaries.
This new project is in line with Wateen Telecom's commitment to lead the digital revolution in Pakistan. Wateen is already working with USF on four broadband and three optical fibre projects in underserved areas of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab, with subsidies worth a total of PKR2.8 billion. These existing projects entail optical fibre networks spanning over 3,300 km (in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab) and 94,500 broadband subscribers, 246 Education Broadband Centres and 72 Community Broadband Centres in the districts of Sargodha, Abbotabad, Sialkot, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Narowal, Sheikhupura, Okarra, Sahiwal Kasur and Pakpattan.
Commenting on the project, Mr Zamindar said, "At Wateen, we are committed to taking Pakistan into the 21st Century; this can only be achieved by ensuring digital for each and every Pakistani. We believe that broadband internet possesses the capacity to influence our lives and create dynamic social change - not only in the way we connect with one another, but also how we consume media and perceive the world at large.
"The Balochistan Project is but the first step in this long journey towards achieving nationwide connectivity - a journey that will change the lives of many Pakistanis for the better. We are proud to be leading this monumental and historic effort."
ABOUT WATEEN TELECOM
An Abu Dhabi Group venture, Wateen Telecom is a converged communication services provider that enables all connectivity requirements for organizations and individuals in Pakistan. Wateen's vision is to take Pakistan into the digital revolution of the 21st Century by offering complete communications and media solutions, including telephony, internet, data and TV/multimedia to the public at large, and to make Pakistan a regional communications hub, inter-connecting the East with the West and Central Asia with the Middle East.
Amongst its many achievements, Wateen has deployed one of the largest fibre optic networks in the country, enabling it to deliver the most diverse product range offered by any organization in Pakistan's ICT (information, communications and technology) sector. Moreover, Wateen is the world's first company to commercially roll out a WiMAX network on a nationwide scale in 2006.
Wateen's offerings for data, voice, media and networking solutions are unmatched, making it the most complete offer for connectivity needs. In addition to offering consumer communication services, Wateen Telecom is also committed to offering telecoms providers the infrastructure needed to offer quality, reliability and affordability in the communication and media sector. To this end, Wateen Telecom is also a leading provider of Long Distance International minutes to all of Pakistan's leading telecoms carriers.