China Mobile’s Pakistani unit Zong has pledged that it will upgrade all of its mobile base stations to 4G by the end of 2017.
Although it is the third largest operator in Pakistan, Zong leads the market for LTE, with 12% of its 28 million subscribers enjoying the high-speed service. Its stated target will bring its total LTE sites up to 10,600 across Pakistan.
Zong has invested around $2.5 billion into its 4G network to extend it across more than 300 cities in Pakistan, covering 90% of 4G users in the country. The operator revealed in February that it would funnel a further $200 million into extending its 3G and 4G networks – which collectively are used by 40% of its subscribers – before the end of the year.
Pakistan’s mobile market is headed up by Mobilink, which has a 30% share. Following its January acquisition of Warid – which had around 640,000 4G subscribers – Mobilink has increased its total 4G users to around 800,000. Second-placed Telenor launched its 4G services at the start of the year and has already accrued 300,000 4G subscribers.
Zong spokesperson Maham Dard said: “We are here to invest in the Pakistani people, to provide Pakistan with a faster and better connection to the world, so it can compete with other nations… We are providing a platform to Pakistanis to advance in all sectors of their life.”