012 Smile mulling mobile sector entry options

25 Aug 2010

Israeli internet service provider (ISP) and international calls carrier 012 Smile Telecom, which is controlled by Yosef Maiman as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ampal-American Israel Corporation, is mulling entry to the country’s wireless sector, according to Globes Online. The report claims that Maiman is looking to hold up the opening of the international calls sector with a view to allowing more time to consider 012 Smile’s strategy and options for the country’s upcoming mobile spectrum auction, due to take place next month. Under existing regulations set down by the Ministry of Communications (MoC), unless 012 Smile applies for mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence by 28 August mobile operator Partner Communications will be free to apply for an international calls carrier licence. However, it is thought that Maiman sees any such action by Partner as potentially harming 012 Smile’s entrance to the wireless sector; the executive had a similar motive when he called on Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon to not allow HOT Telecommunication Systems to become an ISP without full structural separation from its cable and telephony operations.