China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak), which operates under the ‘Zong’ brand, has unveiled plans to invest between USD300 million and USD400 million to extend 3G and 4G coverage to 100% and 60% respectively by the end of the year. ProPakistani cites deputy CEO Niaz Malik as saying that the cellco currently has 2,700 4G sites, but that number will double under Zong’s programme for 2016. Commenting on the rate of demand for 4G, the official added: ‘We have the highest number of 4G subscribers and the rapidly growing demand for 4G services has, at times, resulted in the shortage of our mobile broadband devices. We are fully cognisant of the situation and are assuring their availability accordingly.’
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zong claimed 282,701 LTE users at end-December 2015, ahead of the 214,046 served by its sole 4G rival, Waird. The cellco saw a substantial jump in subscribers in January 2016, however, with its LTE user base climbing 47.4% to 416,676, compared to an 11.2% increase reported in November-December.