China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak), which operates under the ‘Zong’ brand, has purchased fixed local loop (FLL) licences for all 14 of Pakistan’s regions, Pro Pakistani reports. FLL licences entitle providers to install fixed infrastructure of any kind – including copper, fibre or cable – and to offer services over that network. The FLL concessions are awarded individually and each carry a price tag of USD10,000. As noted by CommsUpdate yesterday, Zong has also entered the fray for new 3G/4G concessions in the ongoing mobile tender. Following its purchase of FLL licences and if successful on the 3G/4G front, Zong could make the transition to become a full service provider, offering a range of fixed and wireless solutions. Zong is uniquely positioned to benefit from substantial economies of scale for the deployment of both fixed and wireless broadband networks, as parent company China Mobile – the single largest cellco in the world according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database – has recently embarked on a massive drive to roll out Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) services across China. It was also confirmed in December 2013 that China Mobile had been granted permission to officially re-enter the fixed broadband market for the first time since the restructuring of China’s telecoms markets in 2008.
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