Drahi to invest around ILS2 billion in mobile activities

14 Apr 2011

On the back of having acquired one of the two 3G concessions recently offered for sale by the Israeli Ministry of Communications (MoC), French businessman Patrick Drahi, who controls both cableco HOT Telecommunication Systems and local iDEN operator MIRS Communications, has detailed some of his plans for the new licence. According to Globes Online, Mr Drahi has confirmed that around ILS2 billion (USD583 million) will be invested in the development of mobile services, while he also revealed that with the new licence now secured the process of merging HOT and MIRS will now begin. While no target date for the tie-up of the two companies has been mentioned, it appears likely that MIRS will be rebranded, possibly in line with the fixed line unit, with the executive noting: ‘We checked and found that MIRS has a strong presence in the professional-institutional market, but not in the private market. HOT is very well known. It didn’t have a good reputation in the past, but that has now greatly changed, so I think that the HOT brand is a good one.’ With the company expected to introduce mobile voice services to its bundled packages, Drahi also said that in terms of market share in the wireless sector he hoped to ‘reach a lot more than 7%’, while he confirmed that discounts on wireless services are likely to be around 30%-35% of the current tariffs.