Wateen Telecom is a converged communication services provider based in Lahore, Pakistan, and is a sister concern of Warid Telecom. The company was incorporated in 2005 and began its operations in 2007 with the deployment of the largest fibre optic network in the country. Moreover, Wateen is the world’s first company to commercially roll out a WiMAX network on a nationwide scale. Wateen was recently ranked as the #1 wireless broadband service provider by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and won the Consumer Choice Award for the “Best Internet Service Provider.
Wateen Telecom delivers Internet, voice, multimedia, and enterprise Solutions. The company’s strategic importance can be gauged by the fact that Wateen laid a Fiberoptic Cable Network stretching from Karachi to Torkhumhaving the potential to connect Pakistan regionally with Afghanistan, Iran and India. Wateen currently provides its services to over 250,000 WiMAX subscribers and enterprise solutions along with data services to over 200 leading organizations. Its cable network reaches over 125,000 households in the cities of Lahore and Multan.
History of Wateen
2005 to 2010
Wateen Telecom is formed under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi Group; one of the leading business corporations in the Middle East and one of the biggest foreign investors in Pakistan. Initially in 2007, the company was set up as a “carrier’s-carrier” providing a fine fibre optic network to mobile companies and offering long distance and telephony services. In areas where Wateen did not have a fiber network, it offered carriers connectivity through VSAT.
Wateen is the first company in the world to commercially launch WiMAX broadband internet services throughout the country, beginning with 24 major cities in Pakistan in 2007. Thereon, Wateen set forth to launch a range of services for individuals and modern enterprises and also signed as a re-selling partner for multinational solution providers such as Cisco, Huawei, EMC and Polycom amongst numerous others.
2010 to date
Due to the global recession and instability in the economic and political scenario in the country, the FDI in Pakistan slowed down adversely affecting the company. In order to raise capital, Wateen Telecom decided to go public with an IPO, which was oversubscribed. Unfortunately, right after the IPO there came a fall in the share prices and the stock index was declining. Realizing the situation, Wateen Telecom underwent a major transformation which also included a change in its management.The goal for the new management was to revitalize the organization with skilled resources, re-establish the goodwill for the company and take up the challenge to improve performance. Some of the initial successes were included:
- Previously, Wateen had advertised its WiMAX business only. Wateen’s new management set out to change the image by re-launching the brand with a new identity, projecting the entire product portfolios and becoming more accessible to the media.
- The LDI business in Pakistan had become uneconomical due to the increase in grey traffic. Wateen Telecom, along with other LDI operators took the matter up to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, to revise the Access Promotion Charges (APC) and thus, succeeded to save the industry from failure.
- Wateen Telecom revived its network deployment and won the bid to deploy a fiber network in Baluchistanwith the help of the Universal Services Fund.