Internet Gold has announced that its fully-owned subsidiary 012 Golden Lines has been granted a licence by Israel’s Ministry of Communications to provide local telephony services based on voice over broadband (VoB) technology using the prefix 072. 012 Golden Lines, which offers services under the Smile Communications brand, is the first operator in Israel to receive a permanent VoB concession; for the past two years it has offered VoB services on a limited basis under a temporary experimental concession. It currently has deployed local telephony services in approximately 13,000 households. The company intends to roll out the expanded services immediately and to initiate a marketing campaign aimed at rapid penetration of both residential and business customers. Its goal is to achieve an appreciable share of Israel’s local telephony market, which in 2005 was estimated to be worth NIS5.3 billion (USD1.2 billion).