LAHORE - Zong is set to further expand the scope of its 3G and 4G services across the country by making another investment of $300 to $400 million during the current year. With over $1 billion already invested and more than 250 cities currently receiving 3G and 4G services, the entire country would be able to benefit from these high-speed technologies by the end of this year.

Zong’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Niaz A Malik stated that currently more than 2,700 sites of Pakistan are powered with 4G services. As part of Zong’s future plan for 2016, these would be doubled in number, Malik added.

Elaborating on Zong’s perspective on different contemporary issues concerning the telecom sector, company’s deputy CEO said entire Pakistan would soon benefit from Zong’s superior 3G and 4G services. “We are working on war footing on this front. Soon, there would be good news, not later than this year,” Niaz Malik stated. “We are focused on the delivery of 4G and we have made immense investment on this front. Our 4G internet SIM is the fastest in terms of speed and high-powered features.”

Owing to unprecedented demand of Zongs’ 4G services, our mobile broadband (MBB) devices have often been outnumbered by the ever-growing consumers’ strength. “We have the highest number of 4G subscribers and the rapidly growing demand for 4G service has, at times, resulted in the shortage of our MBB devices. We are fully cognizant of the situation and are assuring their availability, accordingly,” Malik commented.

Dismissing the reports suggesting slow cellular signalling on part of Zong, the top Zong official cited UK Open Signal Report that ranks Pakistan as 57th in Global LTE Coverage Comparison. “The report is based on Android users only who use Open Signal application. In Pakistan, this application is not very famous as most people use Ookla for this purpose and according to Ookla, we are way better than rest. Please be aware of the fact that we rolled out our 4G services just a year ago and any improvement on this front requires time. Pakistan does have better coverage of 58 per cent compared to 49 per cent of India, as reflected in the report.”

Malik lamented over the fact that excessive taxes in telecom sector were not only adversely affecting the telecom industry but were eventually adding to the miseries of cellular subscribers. “Punjab has set a great example by abolishing 19.5 per cent tax on mobile internet services. We hope that other provinces will follow the course. This is essential in order to allow the telecom industry to flourish further. That would strengthen Pakistan economically and help its people”, he added.

On Telecom Policy 2015, Malik commented, “The policy is silent on taxes and a greater role of the regulatory bodies will be required to address this issue with the government so the dream of digital Pakistan can be realized and our economy can flourish further.”