Pakistan’s third largest mobile operator Zong increased its 4G user base to 4.4 million at end-July after adding nearly 380,000 subscribers during the month, giving it 72.5 per cent of the country’s LTE connections, latest figures from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) showed.

Zong, owned by China Mobile, launched 4G in 2015 and aims to deploy 10,500 4G base stations by year-end Pakistan-based Phone World reported. While the operator is the 4G leader, the PTA figures show it only holds a 20.3 per cent share of the country’s total mobile subscribers (including 2G, 3G and 4G subscriptions).

Market leader Jazz, with a 37 per cent total share, had 953,743 4G subscribers after picking up 16,500 in July. The operator, which merged with Warid in 2016 and changed its name from Mobilink, was awarded a 4G licence in May. It was the sole bidder for a 10MHz block of paired 1.8GHz spectrum.

Telenor, the country’s second largest operator with a 29.1 per cent share of total subscriptions, added 117,000 4G subscibers in July to take its total to 724,157. It acquired 850MHz spectrum in June 2016 after making the only bid for the 4G spectrum.

Pakistan’s smallest operator, state-run PTML, which operates under the Ufone brand, doesn’t have a 4G licence. The operator held a 13.1 per cent share of total mobile subscribers and a 14 per cent share of total 3G subscribers at end-July.