China Mobile Pakistan, operating under the Zong brand, announced plans to upgrade all its base stations to 4G by the end of 2017, boosting its LTE sites to 10,600 across the country.

Zong, the country’s third largest mobile operator, is the LTE market leader with 4G users accounting for 12 per cent of its 28 million mobile connections, according to the latest figures from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). Its 3G and 4G users represent 40 per cent of its customer base.

The operator said it invested about $2.5 billion in its 4G network, which reaches more than 300 cities and serves 90 per cent of the country’s 4G customers, according to PTA data. Zong in February announced plans to invest around $200 million in expanding its 3G and 4G network through 2017.

Mobilink, the overall leader with a 30 per cent market share, has 800,000 4G users after completing an acquisition of Warid in January. Warid had about 640,000 4G subscribers at the end of 2016. Number two Telenor launched LTE service at the beginning of 2017 and had more than 300,000 4G connection at the end of Q1.

Zong company representative Maham Dard said: “We are here to invest in the Pakistani people, to provide Pakistan with a faster and better connection to the world, so it can compete with other nations… We are providing a platform to Pakistanis to advance in all sectors of their life.”