Broadband in Pakistan: Growth?

by Noc Team on July 6, 2011

Interviewed by Muhammad Yasir

Mubashir Naqvi, CEO Qubee

Mubashir Naqvi, CEO Qubee, has 25 years of experience of working with renowned brands in Pakistan; He has been associated with Qubee since inception of the project in Pakistan. He joined the industry during its early stages and acquired an extensive experience.

Before joining Qubee, he was working at Etisalat as an advisor. He has also served as the President and CEO of Pak Telecom Mobile Limited (Ufone).

During his professional career of more than 25 years, he has served at various high level positions in reputed organizations including Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Millicom International, Cable & Wireless Limited, Orascom and Etisalat.

CodeWeek: What is your opinion about the growth of broadband in Pakistan?

Naqvi: Growth of broadband has been extraordinary with almost 150% AGR over the last 3 years. The market is still young and it is online content which is increasing the market size every day. As far as the response from the market to broadband is concerned, it’s positive and promising. Wireless broadband in Pakistan have changed the perception of broadband and ever since 2007 the growth has been in triple figures with number of subscribers doubling every year since.

CodeWeek: How do you see the role of Qubee in the penetration of broadband in Pakistan?

Naqvi: Qubee’s mission is “Broadband for All”. We have lived up to the promise and delivered maximum value to our subscribers ever since we launched our services in 2007. Our packages have provided the best value in the Wimax arena and devices best in class. Qubee has given the concept of an affordable reliable internet service which is easy to acquire, use and pay. With our various promotions and reach out to the user model we have given broadband availability to so many users who were getting unprofessional services at almost the same cost. We have launched entry level packages for users new to the broadband experience which are not heavy on the pocket and also introduced Prepay Broadband in Pakistan. Which is a first in Pakistan!

CodeWeek: What are challenges in the promotion of broadband in Pakistan?

Naqvi: By virtue of being a developing country certain impediments to Broadband growth in Pakistan are inherent. Low literacy, Low PC penetration, lack of local content, high bandwidth cost by Pakistani standards, duties on Customer premises equipments and regulations are some of the main hindrances to the mass scale promotion of broadband in Pakistan. The Government is not aligning basic civic goals such as education and healthcare with the broadband policy to do away with some of the hindrances.

CodeWeek: How do you see the competition among the market players of broadband?

Naqvi: Broadband market in Pakistan is tough and exciting to be in. With a host of operators in every technology e.g. DSL, Wimax, Evdo etc there is huge consumer market potential. The market is huge with almost every kind of user, from seldom email checkers to rich media downloader’s. Every user group is willing to pay for the kind of services he is looking for. Whether it is speed, data, portability etc. All operators are grabbing a share of each segment they can serve, while on basic level it’s all about the operator who provides the best service and customer care.

CodeWeek: Where do you see broadband in the next five years?

Naqvi: Broadband will reach economies of greater scale in the next 5 years, though not equal to GSM, but it will be greater than what it is in the present day. As IP based services such as Skype and online commerce becomes popular, additional groups will be using broadband services on frequent basis. This coupled with new consumer devices like tablets will incline people to stay connected round the clock. So we will see broadband more commonly in more cities.

CodeWeek: Which strategy and business model should Wimax and broadband operators use in order to expand their services in small cities and villages of the country?

Naqvi: Broadband must reach all corners of Pakistan; there are no two ways about it. As far as the strategy for broadband and especially Wimax operators are concerned, unless the cost elements such as CPE and transmissions are lowered, the proposition of operating in small town and villages is not feasible.

CodeWeek:  What initiatives do you suggest the government should take for the promotion of broadband in commercial and education sectors?

Naqvi: To kick off the broadband revolution the Government should give a boost to the industry and overall economy by encouraging e-governance and de-regulating the financial system to allow more transaction capability to users. Once the users realize the full potential of the internet, the entire commercial landscape can change within a short span of time, as businesses and their consumers interact at a closer level. This will open up a large market for smaller enterprises and big businesses as well to reach their consumers more directly.  An example can be online payment mechanism with top-up capabilities everywhere and ability to transfer online in real time.

Making the education system more technology oriented at the grass root level, will allow students to have a collaborative and bi-directional academic experience. This will increase the use of broadband at almost a utility level for most students.

Qubee (Owned by Augere Pakistan (Private) Limited

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Azeem July 10, 2011 at 6:40 AM

My suggestion to CEO, is that Qubee has to focus of students! in that way they can facilitate not even students but their own selves also!
I mean middle class & student from middle society cant afford thousands per month!
I think Rs. 300/- per month for students will give Qubee a major boost !!!!!

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