Wateen inks deal with USF for fibre rollout in Balochistan

14 Jul 2011

Pakistani broadband provider Wateen Telecom has been awarded a PKR2.4 billion (USD27.8 million) project, part-funded by the country’s Universal Service Fund (USF), under which it will roll out a fibre-optic cable network in Balochistan. According to the Express Tribune, the deal between the USF and Wateen represents part of an overarching scheme which will see around 5,500km of fibre-optic cabling laid in Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province in terms of geographical area, with some 44 tehsils (administrative divisions) and 29 smaller towns set to be connected. For its part, Wateen has agreed to install more than 1,100km of cable in the northern part of the region, and according to the telco the network will connect 20 unserved cities and towns including Gulistan, Musakhel, Barshor, Duki, Harnai, Ziarat, Sinjawi, Zhob, Sherani and Qamardinkarez. Further, Wateen also noted that is already working with the USF on four broadband projects and another three fibre-optic ventures in underserved areas of the Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab provinces, with the telco receiving subsidies totalling PKR2.8 billion for its role in these other schemes. Commenting on the latest project, Wateen CEO was cited as saying : ‘The Balochistan project is 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.’

Pakistan, Wateen Telecom,

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