Having announced in February 2009 that it would consider entering the wireless sector via a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement, Israeli fixed line and broadband provider NetVision has criticised the Ministry of Communications (MoC) policies regarding the virtual operators. According to Globes Online, NetVision claims that it is ‘illogical’ for the regulator not to allow it to operate as an MVNO solely because it is a sister company of existing mobile network operator Cellcom. The complaint comes after the MoC introduced new regulations last week, making it harder for affiliates of existing wireless players to enter the market. The new legislation states that an affiliate of a mobile carrier cannot become an MVNO unless not entering the mobile telephony business will cause it material damage. Commenting on the new policy, Richard Hunter, NetVision’s CEO, remarked: ‘If neither we nor Shufersal Ltd can become an MVNO, nor any company with a connection to IDB, then there will be no competition in mobile telephony.’
NetVision is thought to have considered an entry into the wireless sector predominantly due to increased competition in the broadband sector from Israel’s mobile operators, while fixed line rival 012 Smile.Communications has also indicated it is mulling its options regarding starting an MVNO venture.