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Augere breaks into the second-tier cities

Published in Jul-Aug 2017
Becomes the first company in Pakistan to offer LTE and data link services to corporations and SMEs.
The launch of Augere. L-R: Javed Malik, Director Sales, Augere; Jamal Nasir Khan, CEO, Augere; Lixin Sun, Chairman and CEO, Baicells Technologies and Imran Zafar, CFO, Augere.
The launch of Augere. L-R: Javed Malik, Director Sales, Augere; Jamal Nasir Khan, CEO, Augere; Lixin Sun, Chairman and CEO, Baicells Technologies and Imran Zafar, CFO, Augere.

Augere, a new wireless broadband internet service provider launched by Sharp Communications (the operators of Qubee), has become the first company in Pakistan to offer LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and data link services to corporations and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 11 second-tier cities in Pakistan. Launched in May, with an investment of about two million dollars, the company has started operations in Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Hyderabad, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha, Sialkot and Sukkur.

According to Jamal Nasir Khan, CEO, Augere, the business is not new for the company as they have been providing internet services to consumers under Qubee since 2009. “However, when the idea of launching corporate services was raised, we thought it best not to do it under Qubee as Augere has a different target market. Qubee is targeted at the consumer segment; Augere will focus exclusively on businesses.”

Giving reasons for selecting second-tier cities for the launch of these services, Khan says that because all major commercial activities take place in larger cities, the majority of internet service providers are concentrated there and little attention is paid to companies operating in smaller cities. According to him, the cities selected are the second largest in terms of population after Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and include businesses such as textile factories, manufacturers of auto parts, sports goods, surgical goods, farms and orchards, all of which contribute significantly to Pakistan’s exports. Furthermore, multiple branches of banks and insurance companies, as well as regional offices of FMCGs operate in those cities.


Before launching, Augere conducted an extensive research on the available internet services in the targeted 11 cities and found a dearth of fast and reliable connectivity options. The larger corporations in those cities access the internet either via a PTCL landline through Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or local cable – both of which are consumer or residential-centric.


Although these industries have been there for years, Khan says the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has galvanised economic activity in these cities. In his view, as a result of the improved road networks, the new motorways under construction and the special economic zones that are being established by the government in proximity to those cities, significant foreign investment is anticipated and he foresees these cities turning into major commercial hubs. Augere’s objective, therefore, is to tap into this potential by offering services no other provider has done before. “With more local and international businesses opening, the need for better connectivity options that are reliable and cost-effective can only grow.” In his view, if smaller cities are given the same services, e-commerce businesses will expand there as well. “In a way, by offering our services we are adding to the economic growth and productivity of these cities.”

Before launching, Augere conducted an extensive research on the available internet services in the targeted 11 cities and found a dearth of fast and reliable connectivity options. The larger corporations in those cities access the internet either via a PTCL landline through Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or local cable – both of which are consumer or residential-centric. The other options include purchasing satellite services or mobile broadband services, which are expensive and do not cater to the unlimited data transfer requirements of these companies. Despite the presence of broadband internet providers such as WorldCall, Wi-Tribe and Cybernet in the country, none offer LTE services. Their services are based on WiMax technology (that provides speeds of up to four or five megabits per second only). Furthermore, although WorldCall and Cybernet offer enterprise (business) solutions throughout Pakistan, they are, says Khan, consumer-focused companies and do not offer services to businesses which require not only fast speed, but also unlimited data volume and consistency of service. Augere, on the other hand, with their data link and high-speed LTE internet services will be able to deliver uninterrupted speeds of up to 100 megabits per customer, compared to the four or five megabits they are getting until now. In fact, Augere’s USP is their capability to target organisations that require high-speed connectivity at comparatively lower costs.

The next step for Augere will be to go into managed services, where the plan is to remotely manage their customer’s entire IT system on a day-to-day basis. The company plans to invest another seven million dollars in the next three years and expand to third-tier cities. In the meantime, Augere will consolidate and upgrade their network and coverage.