HOT presses for examination of IEC entry to telecoms infrastructure sector

15 Jan 2010

Israeli cableco HOT Telecommunication Systems has reportedly decided to oppose the entry of the state-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to the telecoms services infrastructure sector, Globes Online reports. It is understood that HOT CEO Herzl Ozer has appealed to both the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and other ministers involved with the process, calling on them to hold off any decision on allowing the power company to enter the market without first conducting an in-depth investigation on the possible impact of such a move. In a letter to the prime minister Ozer notes: ‘There is no basis for a decision to allocate public resources, huge sums of money estimated at billions of shekels, to build a network, for the sake of creating competition where none is required. On the face of it, it seems that this decision was made casually, without a hearing as required, and without a proper comprehensive professional examination, in a procedure not consistent with rules of proper administration.’

The decision to rally against IEC’s possible entry to the sector follows recent reports that the power company is likely to be awarded a licence for a technological trial in Kiryat Shmona in the near future. HOT claims that the trial, which it purportedly learnt about from the press, is fundamentally improper as it should not be started prior to hearings which would consider the financial implications for investments made by the cableco.