As the first telecom operator to purchase the 4G spectrum license in 2013/14, Zong has over the last few years significantly expanded its foot print across Pakistan, with over 2 Million 4G subscribers, 6,700 4G sites and 4G connectivity in over 200 cities. The company has invested over USD 2 Billion since its inception and is poised to spend USD 200 Million in 2017 alone.
However, this journey hasn’t been easy for Pakistan’s premier 4G Telecom Company. At the time when Zong purchased its 4G license, the market for 4G was very limited. In addition, 3G technology had also been introduced and people were still making the shift to 3G technology, offered by the rest of the Telecom operators. A few years ago, the main hurdle in the development of the 4G ecosystem was the inadequate availability of relevant devices at the right price. 4G handsets were costly and the market was still in its infancy.
However, over the course of the last few years, Zong steadily enhanced its network and coverage in urban centers of Pakistan and as the prices of 4G handsets dropped, more and more people started to shift towards 4G technology. With the boom of Pakistan’s e-commerce market, more and more people were now opting for high speed internet, and Zong, being the only 4G Telecom provider started to tap this market.
Zong Shaping the 4G ecosystem in Pakistan
Over time, the company has been building an ecosystem through value added services, which can deliver high value to consumers in addition to driving 4G adoption in the country. While investments in 4G technology remain relatively high, Zong continued to expand its 4G network to ensure faster adoption of the service in the country. The company has over the years has successfully differentiated its 4G services from 3G or LTE services of other operators.
“The advent of 3G and 4G technology is perhaps the right start for Pakistan, however 4G technology is still in its infancy. In Pakistan Zong was the first to acquire a license for 4G and roll it out for the customers and today it is the largest 4G cellular network having invested $250 million in 4G alone for this purpose,”
explains Zong Company Spokesperson, Mr Maham Dard.
“The company has installed over 6,700 sites throughout the country and has expanded its network to more than 200 cities with plans to double this in the coming months. It is heartening to note that other Telecom operators in Pakistan are now also following suit by switching to 4G technology,” he further adds.
Zong provides technology neutral mobile internet tariffs, implying that subscribers do not have to pay a premium price for advanced 4G services. As Pakistan progresses on the ICT front it is imperative for companies to not only expand their coverage to urban centers but also to rural areas as well. It is a positive sign that Zong is taking the lead in ensuring 4G coverage in rural areas as well.
Zong has over 2 Million 4G subscribers, 6,700 4G sites and 4G connectivity in over 200 cities
Only a decade ago, wireless internet was far from being a household commodity, social media was in its infancy, and the mobile industry was all about brick shaped handsets. However, 2016 presents a completely different picture altogether: mobile broadband is now accessible to a vast range of customers, social media has expanded beyond Facebook to ventures such as Twitter and LinkedIn amongst several others, and mobile producers are focused on providing smart handsets incorporating advanced features to allow the integration of 4G internet in our daily lives.
According to leading International Financial Institutes, mobile internet directly contributes in economic growth of the country. With more and more important parts of our lives going online by the day, internet inclusivity will enable a fully connected environment for Pakistanis through state of the art services of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication.
Through this, all our digital devices can be mobile-enabled and as a result become more flexible and integrated into our daily lives. For developing nations, mobile internet can serve as a catalyst of growth and global integration. Particularly in far flung areas, where access to fixed line broadband connections are limited. 4G services can significantly improve the lives of those living in rural communities. Through access to information, provision of basic services, improvement in areas such as health and education along with ensuring increased social inclusion.