Zong Offers Best Quality Voice & Data Services: Zong Spokesperson Maham Dard

ProPakistani recently got a chance to sit down with Zong’s Director Corporate Affairs and Company Spokesperson, Maham Dard.

The ensuing discussion ranges from Zong’s plans in Pakistan to how it plans to take advantage of the opportunity represented by CPEC and is presented below.

Question: Zong (CMPak) is the pioneering International setup of CMCC. What factors do you think convinced CMCC to invest in Pakistan & how has CMCC contributed to Zong’s success?

Maham Dard: I think the most important reason for CMCC to invest in Pakistan is the deep rooted tie between the government of China and the government of Pakistan, which has now translated into strong people-to-people relationships as well.

In that context, it was one of the fundamental priorities of China Mobile Communications Corporation to provide Pakistan and Pakistanis with the most technologically advanced Telecommunication solutions. Communication networks are the backbone of any economy and it is imperative for a developing economy to establish advanced networks to the benefit of the people at large.

Connectivity is an enabler of economic development and progress. So CMCC choosing to invest in Pakistan is an indication of its intention to assist Pakistan in the development of its communication network and infrastructure in addition to helping Pakistan embark on a path of progress and prosperity to impact and improve the lifestyle of a common Pakistani.

We leverage heavily from the research and experience of our parent company on the technological front. China mobiles communication corporation is the largest Telecom service provider in the world and is perhaps the only cellular network that provides uninterrupted, reliable coverage not only through tunnels, highways, sky scrapers or elevators but also on top of Mount Everest. This has enabled us to provide cutting edge, state-of-the art services to our subscribers and has contributed heavily to our growth.

Question: How many cities are covered with 3G and the 4G network?

Maham Dard: Currently, our 4G coverage extends to over 300 cities of Pakistan & 3G coverage extends to over 350 cities and this number is increasing day by day.

Zong has the highest number of 4G sites in the highest number of cities which testifies our commitment to provide a stable, affordable and reliable network to our customers.

By the end of this year, our 3G & 4G site count will extend to over 10,500 sites, enabling a faster, wider and deeper voice and data quality experience for the users. We are far ahead of our competition in 3G and 4G coverage, capacity as well as a stable and reliable voice service.

Question: How is Zong planning to capitalize on the opportunity presented by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)?

Maham Dard: First we have to understand that CPEC is not just a road. It is a set of multiple opportunities for us to connect all segments of the industries to be able to build an ecosystem of telecommunication, innovation and solutions.

We are working with all segments of the society to be able to make sure we translate our fastest 4G technology into connecting the people with healthcare, education, social reforms, government services, law and order ,media and many other segments of the society.

Imagine how fast and how innovative the lifestyle of a common Pakistani would be if all of the above segments are connected through 4G. This is what Zong is dreaming of, this is what we want to be able to provide, to help the country take a step with the fastest and most advanced telecommunications platform on the CPEC platform.

We are privileged to have the fastest technology, our unmatched 4G, to cater for this project, one of the biggest for Pakistan in its history!

Question: How is Zong looking at current & potential take overs in the telecommunications market?

Maham Dard: The market is “evolving” very quickly and is definitely on its way to reach new heights of innovation. The new era of telecommunication will have the data aspect advantage which would be a very clear differentiator for operators.

We believe in a fair competition, In fact we want the industry to grow together to be able to provide the ecosystem for all operators and sustain the 4G evolution in the country. 4G handsets penetration is directly related to this phenomena.

We want the industry 4G handset penetration to increase and that would be possible if more and more operators have 3G/4G technology. The more handsets are available, the more connected people will be, and that’s what supports a healthy platform for innovation, growth, evolution and transformation.

Having said this, every operator has its own business model, its own strategy, which makes it different from its competition. So as long as the takeovers, mergers or even for that matter organic growth of telcos continue to contribute to a healthy competition and a strong market, it will in fact help all operators towards a combined progression.

Question: Please share with us your investment plans down the line?

Maham Dard: CMPak has invested over USD 2 Billion since its inception. We are currently the largest 4G network in the country. In the 2013/14 3G/4G auction, we were the only operator to bid for both 3G and 4G spectrum, and accounted for 45% of the total industry auction value.

At our Annual Business Conference, which was the biggest Pakistani telecom event of the year so far, our CEO, Mr. Liu Dianfeng reaffirmed our stated commitment of adding more investment in Pakistan in the coming years by another USD $200 Million to upgrade our 2G to 3G and 3G to 4G network.

Question: What triggered high addition to your 4G subscriber base during past few months? Do you plan to get more aggressive with the strategy?

Maham Dard: Our understanding of 4G, the knowledge and research we adapt from china mobile, our parent company in keeping the best and most reliable network with the highest levels of availability coupled with the most affordable rates for our products. We have the highest penetration of 4G in the market and we are market leaders in this area because our teams understand 4G and how to use it.

We have a deep understanding of our subscribers’ needs in development of specific solutions, specific bundles at fair prices and providing coverage where our operators don’t exist. We have a very clear strategy of 4G in the years to come. We have invested heavily in our 4G infrastructure and will continue to do so in the coming year to keep this leading edge.

Question: How has the average consumer changed over the last 5 years in terms of preferences and tech savviness?

Maham Dard: The change has been phenomenal, and we are delighted to have such awareness coming to our country on a rapid pace. The average consumer now has a lot more options to choose from compared to a few years ago.  Clearly, the market differentiator is the addition of high speed data and mobile internet services.  Smartphone penetration has also been on the rise in Pakistan and there is an increasing tendency to shift towards data services.

With that, the application market has grown exponentially. Virtually every public and private sector of education, health, law and order, and social sector are benefiting from the advent of 4G technology.

Customers are not just more aware, they are getting increasingly data hungry and speed conscious and this is something that we are working on a daily basis, to provide the best, most affordable and a highly stable and available network to our customers.

We are working with all sectors of the local market to develop specific applications, specific solutions for our customers to be able to be more available in the international market.

Question: What is the core idea behind the new branding approach in Zong’s new TVCs?

Maham Dard: Our new brand identity is aimed to bring our brand promise of ‘A New Dream’ to life. Our new TVCs are a reflection of our commitment to provide the best quality data user experience and signifies our commitment to transform the digital lives of Pakistanis through our high speed data services.

It also capitalizes on the growing technological confidence of consumers on Zong’s super-fast 4G services, The new brand is our sentiment of providing best 4G services to a wider customer base with the best packages in the industry at the most affordable commercial rates to be able to lead the market with new and innovative products, our network and our coverage, not to mention our fastest speed.

Question: How would you comment on the level of competition in the industry right now, in 2017 ?

Maham Dard: Zong is the leader in the data services industry and we are proud to be spearheading the digital revolution in Pakistan. We have the best quality voice & data solutions at the most affordable rates for all types of our customers. We believe that we are a threat to our competition because of our superior 4G, our rapid pace of growth & 3G/4G penetration all over Pakistan.

Our coverage includes both rural and urban areas and spreads across towns where our competition doesn’t even exist. In the coming year, we will continue to add more investment to deliver more and more innovative products for our subscribers with more coverage and more capacity.

Question: What’s next for Zong after 4G?

Maham Dard: Zong is the pioneer of 4G technology in Pakistan and the 4G market in Pakistan is still developing. Over the last year, 4G subscribers have increased significantly pointing towards a greater appetite among people for fastest speeds. So our priority is to develop the strongest, fastest and widest 4G network in the country.

We will have most of our network upgraded to 4G by the end of this year however all the other operators still have a long way to go before they are able to compete with Zong’s widest coverage & fastest speeds.

As for latest technology, let me tell you, being the pioneer of 4G in Pakistan, Zong has always been at the forefront of cutting edge technology and rest assured we will continue to introduce latest telecommunications technologies in Pakistan.

  • “Zong Offers Best Quality Voice & Data Services: Zong Spokesperson Maham Dard”

    This is must be very unbiased obviously.

    • Actually, according to PTA QoS Survey 2016, Zong is the best network in voice and data services.

  • Zong is working purely like China things.
    It works flawlessly where it works, and It falls flat wherever it falls. Difference between Zong 4G and Jazz-Warid 4G is that Zong works better where both have full signals. But with 2-3 signals Zong refuses to even browse but Jazz-Warid 4G still works fine.

    • what i have learnt Zafar bhai is that Zong has restricted its coverage. they have specified a radius around a cell site where it will beat all others all hands down.. but after that they wont even let you browse even though you will get signal they will be not registered on network.. they have no plans to stretch it to rural areas whatsoever they just want to be good in the areas they want it to be good. Pathetic approach

      • Not true, China Daily has recently reported about this and China Mobile is all set to expand heavily in rural areas of Pakistan as well, they have the best 4G service at present

      • Jazz is shit, terrible 3G and 4G. Have been a warid customer and now moved to Zong after Warid has turned shit post-merger.

      • Kya problem hai yaar aap logon ki. Jab abhi 2 din pehle tak log mujhe Zong ka spokesperson keh rahay thy. Aaj Zong ki burai jar di toh Jazz ke liye kaam karne wala ban gaya. Laanat aap ki soch per.

  • “We will have most of our network upgraded to 4G by the end of this year however all the other operators still have a long way to go before they are able to compete with Zong’s widest coverage & fastest speeds.”

    Now that’s news!! Best 4G network, definitely.

  • if this is the best quality of data service i dont wanna know what the worst is. zong operates well in only tiny pockets whereas the rest of the areas it provides me crap speeds.

    i’m not gonna take a guy seriously.

  • Indeed Zong 4G was best in my area (Bahria Town LHR) a year now. But as more and more users are moving to 4G and they aggressively advertising their Mifi devices, quality of service has been pathetic since last several months. Still alot need to be done to give top notch service.

    • Bro thats like 250Mbps how can you get that speed when LTE max speed is 150Mbps(theoratically)

      • He actually means 30Mbps.
        I know you recently came to know about difference between small (bit) and capital B (byte) and tried to score a point. Most of uses doesn’t know about this difference and actually means bit when writing network speeds whether its B or b.
        Even in networking, network speeds are always measured in bits, so it’s obvious it is 30Mbps.

        • Bro i cant argue with you actually you are the one who is scoring a point here i was only Sarcasming the guy and you took it seriously and it is nice talking with you. P.S i have MCS degree so i completely know the difference between bit and bytes

  • Zong is the biggest theif in Pakistan.they steal balance when data package is near to 15mb and freeze package for few seconds. I lost 7 times money..after checking from zong history of usage and mentioning them specifically at complaint..they returned my money 5 times.

      • Bro i had talk with my frnd in CS of zong. He said this is a proper bug..if some1 put complaint with exact info theb we return the money but majority of the people dosnt realize what happens. It is because deduction happens at just before ending of package to assume that deduction would be done at post data package usage.

        • Its not a bug. Zong freezezbusers balance when there is a fear to charge out of bundle data. Balance doesn transfer back after few hours of data disconnection. Users can get balance back immediately after turning flight mode on and off once. I get back balance this way many times.

          • Bro with are talking about system stability not totka bazi. Only you knows this totka. At least i never got balance even after the week unless i had to register complaint.

  • It’s the worst network In Gwadar, even in voice network (forever “network busy”). And no 3G or 4G here.

    • In gawadar . Warid is best with 4G and widest 2g coverage of warid . Has jazz provided 4G in gawadar after merger or not yet ?

      • Agreed. Yes, they are one now. They provide both 3G and 4G but with low speeds than the standards.

        • Yes ,i know. But recently when i visited gawadar after merger. Jazz was not offering 4g and warid was offering. But at same time jazz was offeri g 4g in other cities

    • lol, thats like saying a 660 cc car is equivalent to a 1300 cc car. Please get your facts straight. Jazz has a huge customer base and in comparison has smaller LTE bandwidth compared to Zong. Jazz can hardly even compete with Zong on 4G oh and it lost 400,000 3G customers last month. Damn.

      • haha zong is better? you mean that a donkey can run faster than horse? zong is donkey and Warid/Jazz is horse.

  • After a very torturous experience of using Jazz, I have recently shifted to Zong and great speed and service. Highly recommend

  • ProPakistani needs some sick competition.And it needs it right now. Seriously, that is your article.
    “Zong Offers Best Quality Voice & Data Services: Zong Spokesperson Maham Dard”
    It will be the only language they will understand and pivot.

  • Hamary city mein april 2016 mein zong launch hua tab se ab tak hamesha pooray city mein signals fluctuation ka masla raha hai jab mene complaints kawaye tu ek hazrat ne mujhay feed back dia uffff uska lehja itna tanzia aur haqarat bhara tha woh bar bar mujhay jhoota sabit karna chaha raha tha mujahy bhut dukh hua .

  • The real problem of Zong is it’s Voice, especially on 3G. Data was fine since it was launched, where it works, it’s great – or at least adequately enough, where it doesn’t, it just is dead. BUT, it’s voice over 3G, and even 2G is just pathetic. I’ve tried with different mobiles (iPhone 6S, Xiaomi Mi 5, LG V20, Huawei P9) and different locations and cities. All with SAME results. It’s voice quality is just like china 2nd grade material, as people perceive of most chinese products.

  • Mr. Maham Dard very exciting as the GSMA2017 is just over focusing on 5G and related Beta Trials with Western Europe already in the 28Ghz., band with trails on 5G already done. I’m honored to MNP with my oldest Jaaz Nr., to Zong network which underwent initial teething issues of GPRS/3G initially.
    We’re honored for our MOITT Minister to speak at the GSMA2017, at the WEF Davos of our MOITT Minister and the Chairperson PTA at the GSMA2017,
    Beta Trails of 5G and the related spectrum would take Zong in the league of nations to pioneer as China Mobile had its trails on 3G on the occasion of Olympics in China with TD-SCDMA the indigenuous technology to the world.
    I suggest Zong should make all efforts for the 5G trails in Pakistan for the technology to support the Driverless Car trails in 2018 for Pakistan. As California state has started issuing drivers license in California we should like wise prepare to license driverless cars in Pakistan courtesy Uber which comply to the UN Decade of Road Safety. The UN Road Safety Standards are complied by the Driverless Cars worldwide. Pakistan has serious issues for Road Safety Standards compliance.
    I wish you success for your efforts, initiatives in Pakistan for nation building.

  • 300 & 350 cities in Pakistan. what population size do they consider a “city”. probably this is also a result of poor translation :)

    When would all CMOs start talking sense. 350 “location” might be a better word than a city.

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