Zong to double its cellular sites by end of 2009 - Zong

www.dailytimes.com.pk
By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: China Mobile Pakistan has planned to maximise the coverage capacity of its cellular phone operator-Zong-by increasing its number of cellular sites up to 9,000 across the country with an investment of $500 million by the end of 2009.

Official sources told Daily Times that China Mobile has planned to double Zong's cell sites in various parts of the country in order to facilitate their subscribers with smooth and fast signals traffic. It has established nearly 4,500 cellular cities in different metropolis and small cities so far.

This will be one of the largest cellular cities project ever planned by any of the other operators. According to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the country had overall 26,300 cellular cities by the end of 2008. Five operators have added 8,966 networking sites in the first half of the current fiscal year 2008-09.

The Chinese company has invested $1.66 billion so far in Pakistan, including $600 billion invested in the closing fiscal year 2008-09, which is a handsome contribution to foreign direct investment (FDI) in telecommunication and IT industry.

According to the officials, the company will invest more to increase its number of services and sale centres across the country that would also generate more number of job opportunities. Currently, the company has provided nearly 45,000 under the brand of Zong.

PTA in its latest report noted that the Zong subscribers' base is the fastest growing among other four competitors. Its users' base jumped to 6 percent of the overall market share from 2 percent in 2008. However, Zong's subscribers have increased to 6.23 million by the end of May, which is almost 6.7 percent of the overall 93.138 million subscribers' pie.

The telecom regulator further stated that Zong has penetrated aggressively in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Zong has also expanded it network to hilly cities of Northern Areas like Rakaposhi.

China Mobile Pakistan is a 100 percent subsidiary of China Mobile. The pioneering overseas set up of China Mobile came through acquisition of a licence from Millicom to operate a GSM network in Pakistan.

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