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China Mobile makes a Zong and dance in Pakistan

10 апреля 2008

World's largest mobile operator commits to further investment in newly-rebranded Pakistani mobile operation.

China Mobile this week launched its first international brand, renaming its Pakistani mobile subsidiary amid much fanfare, and committed to investing a further $800 million in Pakistan this year.

At a ceremony held in
Islamabad on Saturday, China Mobile rebranded its CMPak operation as Zong, and committed its support to the Pakistani telecoms market.

"We are continuing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in
Pakistan and we have a very long-term view of this market," said Wang Jianzhou, chairman and CEO of China Mobile, at the event, according to a statement from the operator.

Pakistan is our first venture outside China and we are very optimistic about its success.
China Mobile has the resources and technical expertise to aim at becoming one of the largest operators of Pakistan," Wang added.

China Mobile acquired Pakistani mobile provider Paktel from Millicom International Cellular last year; after buying close to 89% of the operator in March it upped its stake to 100% in May at a total cost of $460 million, and subsequently renamed the company CMPak.

In an interview with the Pakistan Times, Wang noted that, including the purchase price, China Mobile has invested $721 million in CMPak to date, and pledged to plough a further $800 million into the company this year alone to improve and expand the company's network.

By the end of 2008, it will have installed 5,180 new sites, boosting coverage to 90% of
Pakistan's territory, and will have created an additional 5,000 jobs in the country, Wang told the paper.

According to China Mobile, "the core essence of Zong is to allow people to communicate at will; without worrying about tariffs, network coverage, capacity issues or congestion."

CMPak had 2.15 million customers as of February this year, according to regulatory body the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, giving it a market share of 2.7%.
The company is the second smallest of Pakistan's six mobile operators. The country was home to over 80 million mobile customers in February, giving it a penetration rate of 50.76%, with market leader Mobilink taking a 39% share.

China Mobile plans to back the rebranding with an extensive advertising campaign.

China Mobile added a record 7.97 million subscribers in February alone, taking its customer base to over 3.84 million. China now boasts well over half a billion mobile customers.

Источник: Total Telecom

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