While telecom companies are struggling on the financial front with declining margins and diluted usage (thanks to OTT services), Zong is gearing up with its 4G offerings to place itself as the top data network in the country.
Zong has apparently realized that telecom operators can’t race with OTT services — especially for basic telephony such as voice and SMS — but instead they can work on strengthening their infrastructure to become first choice operator for any OTT user.
This is usually possible only when you are able to meet bandwidth demands with high speed and reliability.
Zong has, for this purpose, made sufficient investments in hardening its network. In fact it has now more than 7,000 4G enabled towers to serve its customers with high-speed internet at a price that is affordable for everyone.
As mentioned above, the rise of smartphones and OTT services had created room for a solid and affordable data operator. While we agree that wireless internet can not beat wired or fixed broadband, Zong has managed to meet customer demand for solid and affordable internet.
As a result, Zong today sells more than 70% of all data SIMs in Pakistan. Not only this, they also hold 75% of the mobile broadband (MBB) device share in the country.
This actually means that if you want to buy a dongle or data SIM, Zong is the default choice — all thanks to its wide, deep and thorough 4G coverage.
Not to mention, Zong has announced that it will convert its entire tower-base of 10,500 sites to 4G by the end of the year. This essentially means that Zong’s entire network will be 4G enabled within next few months.
For now, their 4G market share is 75% and this will only grow further with added coverage and strong back-haul support.
While you may know that 2G and 3G ARPUs of Pakistani mobile phone users hover around Rs. 200 mark, the least possible average revenue per user for data SIMs and MBB devices is Rs. 1,500.
This actually means that for every MBB device or data SIM sold by Zong, other operators will have to sell at least 7 SIMs to match Zong’s throughput.
It is yet to be seen how other market players are going to respond to Zong’s placement, let alone come near to what Zong is offering.