Zong 4G is based on fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology, LTE (long term evolution), succeeding 3G. The company claims it is the fastest mobile broadband in the country with speeds multiple times higher than 3G. Currently Zong is the only company to offer 4G services in Pakistan. It is interesting to note that leading market players, Mobilink and Telenor Pakistan, are unlikely to follow suit since both companies did not bid for the 4G licences in last years auction. Competition for the service is likely to be expected from the industry underdog, Warid Telecom, which currently offers only Edge (2G) based services in the country.
Given the launch of Zong 4G and expected launch of LTE from Warid, the industry dynamics are expected to change in the future in terms of both subscriber share growth and market share (for urban markets specifically). The launch of 4G services in Pakistan came with two very important questions. Firstly, is there a market for 4G services in the country, and secondly, will customers be willing to pay the higher price associated with the service?
4G Service Map
Zong has clearly targeted urban centers for the launch of 4G, the reason being, city dwellers are more internet savvy and speed thirsty in comparison with their small town and village counterparts. The current city map for the service includes the following:
For more details on the coverage map click on: http://www.zong.com.pk/4g/#hash_4g-coverage-map
Pricing| 4G Enables Bundles
As far as pricing is concerned, 4G packages only come as monthly bundles and the variation in price is dependent on the data size available in the package. Here is a quick run down on the current pricing plan available:
Evidently the higher the package cost, the great the data size and hence lower the cost/ GB. 4G bundles cannot be compared against 3G due to variation in speeds but a relevant comparison can be made against EVO CharJi. Here is a quick look at EVO’s price line for similar internet speeds.
|Charji Gold||50 GB||
|Charji Chrome||25 GB||
In conclusion Zong is comparatively more expensive than CharJi since for the same price the volume limit for CharJi is greater than that offered by Zong and in CharJi Chromes case there is more data available for a significantly lower price. Zong 20 GB data is available for PKR 2500, giving an average of PKR 125/GB, where as Charji Chrome provides 25GB data for PKR 2000 thereby giving an average of PKR80/GB
For high speed internet, in the telecommunication sector, Zong currently has no competition and for customers who are chasing high speed services Zong would be the best bet.
While CharJi still operates at lower speeds than Zong 4G, it is the only service that qualifies for comparison with Zong. CharJi is clearly the cheaper option. However it comes with additional fixed costs associated with the device. Secondly since this a device based service, availability on the go will still be a function of carrying the device alongside the cellphone. On the plus side, the service is available in over 11 cities nationwide and the speed is comparable to 4G speeds available on Zong.