KARACHI: Joining the WiFi devices bandwagon, officials from China Mobile Pakistan, which operates under the brand name Zong, unveiled the company’s MBB devices at Mövenpick Hotel on Monday.
Speaking to a select group of journalists, Usman Javed, who looks after the company’s MBB division, said Zong will also introduce a new franchise model exclusively for its 4G MBB service.
A quality 4G compatible handset can cost up to Rs40,000 making LTE-enabled smartphones very expensive, according to the officials. Portable WiFi devices that offer 4G services are, therefore, better suited to the local MBB market, they say.
Six months into the launch, 4G penetration is slower compared to the growth of 3G users. There are only 140,000 LTE or 4G connections, which translates into a meagre 0.8% of the country’s 17 million broadband connections as of April 2015. On the other hand, 3G connections have captured more than three-fourths, 76% to be precise, of the overall market in a year.
In what appears to be a continuation of Zong’s strategy for GSM, the company is once again betting on scales by playing low on prices.
Priced at Rs2,500, Zong’s MBB WiFi device is similar to those already offered by its competitors. “With a battery life of six hours, the WiFi device can connect up to 10 devices, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets,” Javed said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2015.
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