ISLAMABAD: Zong’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Niaz A Malik on Friday said Zong has invested $1 billion in the previous year and plans to invest $400 million during the current year.Addressing a press conference, he said Pakistan’s only 3G and 4G service provider Zong was set to further enhance and expand the scope of its services across the country, with more than 250 cities across Pakistan already being provided these high-speed services.
Currently, more than 2,700 sites of the country were powered with 4G services, he said, adding that as part of Zong’s future plan for 2016, these would be doubled in number.Elaborating on Zong’s perspective on different contemporary issues concerning the telecom sector, the deputy CEO said entire Pakistan would soon benefit from Zong’s superior 3G and 4G services. “We are working on war footing in this regard. Soon, there would be a good news for our esteemed customers,” 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, the 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 services has, at times, resulted in the shortage of our MBB devices. We are fully cognisant 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 ranked 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 percent compared to 49 percent of India, as reflected in the report,” he clarified.
Referring to the much-hyped Pakistan Super League that took the country’s sports arena by storm, Malik said Zong was the official PSL partner with the sole aim to promote cricket. “Pakistanis are a cricket loving nation and we at Zong are striving to do our best to bring this great sport back to this great country that is yearning for cricket for the last many years. Our aim is to revive dead cricket here.”
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 percent 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.”
Niaz A Malik spoke highly of Zong’s Customer Services Centre (CSC) recently inaugurated in Blue Area, Islamabad. “This is state-of-the-art CSC that is equipped with latest telecom services including the provision of advanced-featured handsets in addition to solving the problems of customers on fast-track basis. We look forward to expanding such CSCs in different parts across Pakistan.”