[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Mobile phone riot in Bangladesh
Mobile phone keypad
The new operator was offering lower call tariffs
Police in Bangladesh have baton charged mobile phone bargain hunters after application forms for a cut-price deal ran out.

Thousands had queued in the capital, Dhaka, to take advantage of the offer from state-owned Teletalk Bangladesh.

When the forms ran out, crowds who had braved heat, rain and a nationwide strike vented their anger.

One businessman said Teletalk had given out only a few dozen forms and there were 5,000 people in the queue.


Teletalk managing director, M Obaidullah, said 1,900 connections were offered on the first day from 11 outlets.

We did not realise that people would respond so overwhelmingly
M Obaidullah,
Teletalk Bangladesh

"We thought that there would not be many applicants because of the nationwide strike," he said.

Businessman Shafiqur Rahman told the AFP news agency: "They cheated us. They should have said that only a few hundred would be on offer on the first day."

Policeman Shahid Chowdhury said: "We had to baton charge the crowd otherwise there would have been a stampede in front of the gates."

Mr Obaidullah promised more forms would be available from Saturday.

The company's plan is to sell 250,000 mobile phones by 2006 with a target of one million for the full project.

Bangladesh has four private mobile phone companies with a subscriber base of over two million.

Bangladesh mobile phone protest
15 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Bangladesh mobile costs 'to fall'
16 Apr 04 |  Business
Phone wait over for Dhaka man
23 Jun 03 |  South Asia
Bangladesh opens telecoms sector
01 Jul 02 |  Business
Bangladesh mobile network hit by fire
22 Feb 02 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific