- Wateen Re-launches With Some Major Announcements
- Pakistan Blocks Thousands of Adult Websites
- 3G Technology To Generate Business For IT Firms
Posted: 31 Oct 2011 01:52 PM PDT
Like we told you earlier, Wateen Telecom today marked it's re-launch – dubbed as "Rebirth of Wateen" – during a press conference in Lahore.
Company is calling it new corporate identity, i.e. new logo, revamped website (though its not up as of now), new packages, new customer support, new sales network, new everything and most importantly the new spirit brought in by the new management.
Mr. Naeem Zamindar, CEO, Wateen and Syed Jibran Ali, Chief Commercial Officer, Wateen were there to brief the press that was followed by extensive question/answer session. Mr. Sohaib Sheikh, head of Marketing was also on stage to participate in the session.
Mr. Zamindar and other officials were clearly emphasizing the new identity of Wateen to essentially make everyone realize that this company today is not what we were previously familiar with.
These promised of new Wateen were coupled with confessions of loopholes and financial crisis that the company has gone through over the years. Claims were backed by some major announcements that we will discuss after the break.
Meanwhile have a look at Wateen's new TVC
So getting back to those announcements, which I believe are crucial as this was probably the last chance that Wateen may get in it's life to deliver.
Sales Channel Partnership with Warid
We have heard of Wateen's possible merger with Warid, but that's something based on preliminary information that we get from sources and may require plenty of time to get through because of legal procedures involved.
But for time being we can confirm that Wateen will use Warid's sales and service centers, franchises and retailors' network to boost sales.
"This is not an exclusive deal", told me Mr. Zamindar saying that they are ready to partner with any potential partner to attain mutual benefits. His point was that they are primarily aiming to stretch the reach to make it easier for the customers to get and maintain their Wateen broadband connections.
I did ask him about the possible merger, which he obviously denied.
On a side note, I know through sources that Warid people are already training the staff for Wateen devices and tariffs to start selling the connections.
Wateen has also partnered with Easypaisa to enable it's customers to pay their monthly bills through Easypaisa.
Wateen said that they have 50 franchises and 2500 dealers countrywide for sales, after sales support and billing services. This is in addition to Warid service centers and franchises that will start offering Wateen WiMAX services soon.
Better Customer Support
Syed Jibran, CCO Wateen, was particularly enthusiastic about customer support department, which according to him has been bettered a lot. He unveiled that this is another area where Warid helped Wateen to straighten things.
He in fact bravely asked the press to call helpline tomorrow to see how much they have upped the standards there.
Like we told you earlier, Wateen has optimized it's network by transferring resources from less-users areas to populous regions. This way company will be able to put it's effort on high ARPU cities only, while eliminating the coverage from those destinations where return was low.
According to a source in company, Wateen deployed 240 new sites plus transferred another 100 to populous places.
New Devices (CPE)
Wateen, as we know, has partnered with GreenPacket to get it's classy devices that offer better performance than usual dongles. Wateen officials admitted that their earlier choice of dongle wasn't wise as they didn't offer solid signals, especially in highly populated city areas.
In addition of GreenPacket, Wateen has plans to get WiMAX devices (CPEs) from GemTek and NSN.
CEO Wateen noted that company is taking necessary measures to make local manufacturing of CPEs possible, but no timeline was mentioned for this.
Telephony and TV Services:
Wateen won't let it's telephony and TV services go. CEO said that they have plans to target SMEs with their voice services to offer them choice over conventional options.
Wateen said that it will target those home users with extremely low priced international bundles as well.
Connecting each and every University of Pakistan
CEO Wateen announced that company has partnered with Higher Education Commission to connect all universities of Pakistan, regardless of their location, with back haul fiber optic cable.
He explained that this will open new opportunities for academia, that will be enabled with tele-conferences, long distance education, course sharing and what not. Moreover, this opportunities will open the door for local universities to collaborate with international universities at many levels.
Naeem Zamindar unveiled that Wateen has deployed the infrastructure to offer cloud services to local market, however, they haven't marketed it yet. They have plans to target government, large sized businesses and SMEs with cloud solutions.
We couldn't explore packages as they were supposed to get announced by the website, which isn't live as of filing of this report. We will probably do a separate post with tariffs for new packages in the morning.
Overall the re-launch looked promising with plenty of enthusiasm, claims and promises. However, delivery of service is what Wateen has repeatedly failed at. So only time will tell the future of Wateen based on it's the execution plan.
Here's official press release for the re-launch:
Posted: 30 Oct 2011 09:01 PM PDT
Pakistani internet service providers have started the process of blocking websites with adult and explicit content, told us multiple sources from the industry.
Earlier this month PTA, telecom regulatory authority of Pakistan, had decided to block the access of those websites in Pakistan that contain adult content.
As we reported earlier, PTA has plans of blocking 150,000 such websites in coming weeks, however, initial list of 1,000 websites has been sent out to all ISPs, mobile operators and international gateways to get them blocked.
ProPakistani has got the said list of 1,000 websites, which we aren't publishing it here for obvious reasons. But we can tell you that they all are adult websites and few of them are ranked in top 100 Alexa list for Pakistani most visited websites. Local adult websites are also included.
ISPs are given 8-10 days to get the orders implemented. Most of the ISPs, including PTCL, have already blocked these websites, while others are making the necessary preparations for the blockade.
PTA is also planning to devise a way for general users to report adult websites to authority. After through review authority will keep adding such reported websites/URLs to the black list.
Internet Service Providers on other hands aren't comfortable with the overheard involved in the blocking of websites. They say that blocking high number of websites may result into slow performance by routers and increased latency due to high number of filters over the network.
However there are users who are opposing the ban, few of them think that this way PTA will get the axe to cut any website under the cover of explicit material. But sources at head-office of PTA tell us that they will make this process of blocking websites very transparent and visible to everyone, so that no one fears the unlawful use of power.
Posted: 30 Oct 2011 09:00 PM PDT
IT companies are looking for potential opportunities with the possible emergence of 3G technology in the country as they have expertise to be engaged with different fields of ICTs related to the high-data services.
This was stated by Adnan Siddiqui, country sales manager IBM Pakistan in an interview to ProPakistani.
There will be lot of applications and programming need to maintain 3G technology therefore companies have been waiting got 3G to grab businesses from cellular companies to unleash their potential in the field of networking, programming and applications.
3G is likely to be the next big thing for the telecom sector and IBM has solutions that provide operators that will deal with content management and high database services.
IBM has been associated with almost every telecom company in some capacity. It has provided best network solutions to cellular companies to enable them to deal with millions of customers said Mr. Adnan.
Presently IBM is designing management concepts for the telecom sector that will help them improve their capacity to deal with customers' choice in the stiff competitive regime.
The new solution will be based on intelligent system that provides details of service packages to operators so it can either continue or end the services or increase its marketing for better results.
IBM has planned to introduce a crucial service to media outlets and TV production houses as it evaluates the huge demand of sophisticated content and video archival system in the local electronic and print media houses.
The media channels need to make their archival system as fast as possible in order to provide timely information to their viewers with background information and details.
This new service will meet their requirement with intelligence in the network therefore performance will be quick and better and information dissemination will be made easier.
Also, the service will maintain tons of data and video content in the best organized form produced by media outlets.
Presently Cloud Computing is the latest trend in local scene though it is an old concept and IBM had introduced it a few years ago but its utility has been on the rise in the local market and a lot of foreign and local players have come up with their own clouds in the country.
IBM has established the first Cloud Computing Lab in Pakistan and now it has been revamped and named as Desktop Cloud in collaboration with different software firms and hardware vendors.
Cloud Computing has huge potential as small and large corporation are automating themselves with a view to improve their productivity and to keep their IT budgets in control.
IBM offers unique services in Cloud Computing particularly its business analytics plays a vital role to facilitate clients in its business operations. Recently one of the top financial institutions of Pakistan signed a multi million dollar deal with IBM for it's desktop cloud initiative.
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