Michael Gefland, the backer of Select Communications, which was handed a Israeli 3G licence last month after Marathon Telecom failed to secure financing for the concession, is reportedly in Israel with a view to securing financing for the company’s rollout, Globes Online reports. It is understood that Select Communications is aiming to strike a deal with local banks for an ILS1.2 billion (USD350 million) credit line, with the company needing ILS705 million for its guarantee and a further ILS500 million for the initial setup costs of the new infrastructure. However, it has been claimed by sources close to the new licensee that some banks which already have invested in local cellcos are not going out of their way to help the company. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Select was handed the UMTS licence with the stipulation that it present guarantees related to the financing of its services within 45 days; should it fail to meet the deadline the concession will be passed to fourth-placed bidder Golan Telecom.
According to the report, Select Communications’ executives have also met with Israeli minister of communications Moshe Kahlon with a view to asking the politician to expedite issues related to the rollout of the new infrastructure, including the construction of new base stations.