Israeli communications ministry lowers 3G spectrum fee

1 Jun 2010

Israel’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Communications (MoC) have announced that the minimum price for UMTS 3G frequencies that are set to be allotted to new operators are to be cut by 94%, from ILS180 million (USD46.6 million) to ILS10 million, according to Globes Online. The original figure was set by the tenders committee six months ago, but the decision to slash the cost of the spectrum is believed to stem from a belief that the lower entry fee will encourage new investors into the country’s wireless sector. The country’s three major mobile network operators – Cellcom, Partner Communications and Pelephone – all paid ILS220 million for their respective 3G concessions in December 2001, leaving MIRS Communications as the sole existing wireless player to not take part in the tender. With new owners it is thought that both MIRS and fixed line and broadband provider 012 Smile.Communications are both probable contenders for the new spectrum when it is made available.