The Future is Cloudy

Naeem ZamindarBy Naeem Zamindar

What is the future? Most people look at the stars, seers consult crystal balls and oracles use all manner of sacred herbs, smokes and mirrors to try and predict it. But for those who use technology, the future is already here. Every day brings exciting new advancements in the fields of communication, miniaturization and digital technology.

In the field of communications the future is looking cloudy. The advancements in 3G technology in most developed countries have yet to trickle down to Pakistan. 3G is a technology that allows for high speed data transfers to mobile devices, without the intervening lag and slowdowns that affect regular copper-wire mobile technology.

Fiber optics lies at the heart of 3G technology. In Pakistan many mobile towers are connected using copper wire rather than fiber. This means that data transfer takes place over the same medium that we used to use for regular telephone technology. Currently companies like Wateen are replacing copper wire with fiber optic cables around the country, using them to link higher educational institutes, banks, mobile towers and government offices for instant or high speed data transfers. Once mobile companies have access to fiber connected networks the possibility of genuine 3G technology will become a viable option.

This is then where the cloud comes in. Before he died Steve Jobs said that in the future, We’re going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the Cloud.” Cloud Computing is the idea of file sharing remotely whereby users can pick what parts of a particular program, or piece of video etc. from a general database that will exist in cyberspace; a ‘cloud’ of virtual information from where one can pick the bits and pieces that one needs, directly accessible from your digital device with no need for interfaces or syncing or any of the other requirements that regular PCs place on users.

Developing the cloud around the world are cutting edge technology companies, but building a high speed data transfer network is one of the primary requirements of cloud computing – the kind of network that technology companies such as Wateen Telecom are trying to build. It is through recognizing the requirements of our country and the shape of things to come that we work together to develop the systems necessary for the whole country to move forward. In this case, competition takes a distant second place to the requirements of our people, enabling their goals and increasing their opportunities to help themselves.

As Pakistan’s leading converged Information, Wateen has already taken bold steps towards realizing the possibility of easy access to information for all Pakistanis. Part of this means creating the actual infrastructure upon which this information will travel; to this end, Wateen, together with the Universal Services Fund (USF), has already rolled out optical fiber networks to far-flung parts of the country.

Developing Cloud services is the next step in this evolution. I believe that within the next two to three years, cloud-based computing will become the premium service offering for all telecom consumers – from individuals to small and medium-sized businesses to large enterprises and government entities. The product offerings will range from simple storage and to running complex business processes in cloud-based models. Wateen has already entered into alliances and partnerships with strong brands for infrastructure and application of delivery of such services in an efficient and cost effective way.

The benefits for businesses are obvious enough – cost-effective solutions to software and storage requirements: rather than buying expensive software or data storage packages, businesses can now ‘lease’ software or storage space in the Cloud. Moreover, the need for physical equipment becomes redundant, bringing further savings. For individuals, the opportunities are countless – not only can the average consumer now store terabytes of personal data, they can also avail of software solutions that might have hitherto been out of their budget.

Cloud computing also means smaller and smarter devices – by eliminating the need for physical storage, device manufacturers can now focus on designing tablets and smart phones that are sleeker and increasingly more portable. Imagine being able to ‘carry’ an entire database of high-resolution movies that you can view whenever and wherever on your chic new tablet. For a country like Pakistan, Cloud computing also means easy access to information for anyone possessing a data connection and a device. Wateen is already working closely with the Punjab IT Board to create virtual libraries of learning, with all textbooks and other curriculum stored in the Cloud. No longer will students need access to physical libraries, no more will universities and colleges need to invest in gargantuan physical storage systems to house data. Everything will live in the Cloud!

This is no science fiction. It’s already happening across the globe. With the right drive, and by continuing to work together, there soon won’t be any need for oracles and horoscopes, because the future will be here. It will be visible for us to see every day, as the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us improve. I can already see the future, ladies and gentlemen, and it is Cloudy.


  • Usama Khalid

    Last line is not clear, ‘I can already see the future, ladies and gentlemen, and it is Cloudy’. Overall well phrased Naeem sb… All the best

    • Saif

      Meaning is: “Meri ena gunnah-gaar akhaan nu mustaqbil nazar aanda peya ey, kuriyo te paaiyo, tey mustaqbil badlaan to pareya peya ey”.

      In short future is based on cloud based computing. :)

  • Cucumber Freak

    Can some one please enlighten which companies are using copper for connecting ‘towers’?Also its not towers but BTS, MSCs, POPs that are interconnected!!

    And what is the relationship between cloud computing and Fiber optic..

    This guy needs to focus on Wateen only.

    [Comment Edited]

    • Salman

      He is talking of FTTH. Wateen is a converged communication service provider whose main role has been developing a fiber infrastructure to enable the digital ecosystem. I think what he’s trying to say is that cloud computing is the next step in building the economy of the country

  • Ahmed

    Well Mr. Zamindar, Wateen’s future looks more cloudy than anything else actually.

  • Rasin Medical

    Mr Zamindar instead of providing all these predictions, why dont you work on fixing Wateen. You just became elected to Wimax forum but then are saying Wimax is dead and saying cloud and fiber optics is the next big thing.

    Why not fix your business instead of trying to make predictions. Your stock price is a good reflection of what the general market thinks of these predictions.

    • Wateen

      Mr. Medical.,WiMax is one of the business lines that Wateen has. The scenario has been challenging for not only us, but other operators as well. Wateen is the pioneer of WiMax services in the country and has always maintained it’s leadership role in this category. Since you’re aware that Wateen’s CEO is on the board of the WiMax forum, you may also be aware that Wateen hosted an operator summit last year in which many of these issues were discussed including a proposal for all operators to place orders jointly in order to reduce the CPE cost and not having them network locked to avoid the ‘recovery’ of devices. I would urge you to stay tuned to ProPakistani for more news and developments

      • Rasin Medical

        Please don’t talk crap about your leadership. The only thing you can be called leaders in is screwing your investors (look at your stock price) and bungling up your businesses. Witribe has done much better job at WiMAX under leadership of Mustafa Peracha. Wateen launched in 22 regions and now took the lead in reducing to 5 regions only. I don’t think Wateen is any pioneer. The pioneer is Motorola who invented the technogy. Wateen was first implementer in Pakistan and now has become a follower behind Witribe.

      • Baaghi

        I have the worst ever experience with Wateen. A whole lot 8 months and no connectivity. I lost my money deposited as advanced deposit. This is all due to your so-called leadership. And your Wiamax is the biggest fail. Right?

        “In Pakistan many mobile towers are connected using copper wire rather than fiber.”

        hahahahahahaha

      • Yasir

        I am using Wateen Wimax since Jan, 2010, on 17th August Service is suspended (My device on Searching Mode). Today Wateen guy called me and inform that Service is now not available in that area. This all done without any proper intimation so we can arrange other service. Also what about the monthly which I paid for whole month but service shut down in the middle. Nice work done by cloud.

  • zain

    naeem zamindar. the man who put others future on stake to save his own job

  • ahsan

    This is called giving excessive money to PR company to make news in all local media after the bad news of massive layoffs in Wateen.

    Another good use of money and good luck to the employees and shareholders of wateen.

  • Anonymous

    Jiwain sanu nai si pata

  • blogger

    So from tag line of “Future is green”, it is “Future is cloudy”?
    Let’s hope it doesn’t become “Future is dark” for wateen :)

  • deatheater

    too much theory and less practical work will not improve anything for Wateen, technology can come easy if its brought up by honest people who are not power hungry and corrupt, like the way it happened when 3G was going to be introduced few months back…

  • Asim Bashir ((Telecom Analyst & Consultant – MEA)

    Now this piece of slice must be from Wateens so called PR agency, The daffodil’s, originally known as Latitude, the latitude of poor media management and poor creative writing.

    Mr. Naeem, give it a thought. I just don’t understand how you put your brand on stake when you know there is too little margin. An organization that never projects how many people it needs and over again we hear on Wateens right size re-modeling.

    Let me be very honest with you. You know why Wateen came to IPO and to what it is today ? its not because of its services, as its matchless where it works but the dent caused is by After Sales Service Policies, there is no one to work on it and there is no one sensible enough in stopping the churn, yet everything Wateen does is based on treating customer as PAIN to the company.

    One thing is just superb about Wateen to-date, their recovery dept which over smartly functions and there people who work in this Dept have no sense or connection to Churn Management – retention of poor Wateen users.

    Wateen is a great company and the way it is treated is just cant be worst, yet it exists and the new people, the new team is just fixing a dead concern and they are the industry most skilled people. I refer to the team of CHAMP’s who drafted Mobilink in Pakistan. I don’t doubt their abilities but think it was necessary for them to listen what customers have to say.

    You just don’t do much, just plan five calls a day to those customers who ever used Wateen and have now successfully returned the device. Just do it for 10 days and you will end up talking to 50 customers and I can bet they will give you somewhat similar reply as of my findings.

  • pyari

    frankly speaking, is this what we call a Wateen’s spoon? At 1st I thought as I’m going to get lecture on 3G. Damn this thing…

  • Faisal

    Wimax will phase out as a technology. LTE (4G) will be the technology of the future. The companies which have invested in Wimax are already finding it difficult to survive. I believe in the next 2 years, all Wimax operators may not be around. RIP Wimax.

  • Funny

    The title reminded me of a sea food restaurant in KHI called ” Something Fishy” ….lol….It only lasted few months…..

    So what wateen is going to do regarding “Cloudy Future”….

    Wateen’s team needs to get their head out of sand first …

  • Atif Mustafa Khan

    Dear Naeem,
    I am fully convinced with your words. This is exactly how we should envision our future. After working 5 years on Wimax technology, I am true believer that Wimax will grow. Wimax will lead on roadmap of TDD LTE, on which major vendors has already started investing. Our expectations from 3G are very high however on the other hand bandwidth requirements are much & much higher than what 3G could fulfill alone. Wimax and 3G together will support the bandwidth requirements of near future only. In the longer term it will be cloud infrastructures based upon fiber optics and gpon based communication networks. Wishing you good luck with your challenges.
    Regards,