Beep Pakistan: A homegrown WhatsApp rival launched in Pakistan

Pakistan has introduced the inaugural phase of the country’s first communication application ‘Beep Pakistan,’ which will be accessible to the general public after a year-long pilot period.

Developed by the National Information Technology Board (NITB), Beep Pakistan is a localized version of the global voice, text, and video-sharing platform, WhatsApp.

Minister for IT and Telecom, Syed Aminul Haque launched the app during the inauguration ceremony on Aug. 7. Alongside the app launch, the Minister also inaugurated the new web version of the E-office platform.

“Beep Pakistan, set to launch for public use within a year, is poised to become the most secure communication platform for citizens, gradually replacing WhatsApp.” Minister Aminul Haq stated at the launch ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony, Haq highlighted the application’s features, which include secure messaging, document sharing, fast audio, video, and conference calls. He assured that all data will be securely hosted within Pakistan.

The app’s data will be stored by the National Telecommunication Service (NTC), with an initial one-month testing phase. This testing period will be available exclusively for government officers and officials, allowing the NITB to refine the application based on their feedback. Following successful government-level implementation, the app will be accessible to the general public after one year.

Pakistan Beep App WhatsApp alternative
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haque launching ‘Beep Pakistan’ App on August 7, 2023, in Islamabad. (Image Credit: IT Ministry)

Minister Aminul Haque emphasized that Beep Pakistan aims to revolutionize communication for government employees, enhancing productivity. Notably, the app’s security features make it a dependable choice, positioning it as a secure communication platform.

“Its conference feature will ultimately make it an alternative to Zoom and other applications as well,” he said.

He underlined the app’s unique selling points, including diverse options like data-sharing and high-quality audio/video calls and conferences.

The project, initiated in 2020, overcame challenges and received the necessary security clearances to culminate in the present launch. When questioned about introducing the app in a country already accustomed to WhatsApp, Haque drew parallels with localized apps from neighboring countries and expressed confidence in Beep Pakistan’s security driving its adoption.

Although challenges exist due to WhatsApp’s existing stronghold, tech expert Saad Shah and Muhammad Zohaib Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), shared differing viewpoints.

“The app’s distinction lies in its origin and source-coding within Pakistan, rendering Beep Pakistan a highly secure platform for government departments to share data and communicate while maintaining confidentiality,” Khan said.

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