Mobile phone stores in Pakistan were swamped by customers at the weekend as a result of a promotion by one of the country’s four cellular operators. Retail outlets belonging to Ufone were inundated as the company launched a four-day promotion which saw it waive its normal USD17 connection fee for new clients. Local press reports say that thousands of people surrounded Ufone stores in Islamabad and violence erupted among those which had not signed up by the time the shops closed.
Although Ufone has revealed that it is hoping to attract up to half a million new customers as a result of its promotion, it says it has been taken by surprise by the response. The operator, which had 840,000 subscribers at the end of March, is keen to increase its customer base as much as possible before two new GSM operators launch services next year.