Israel’s largest cellco by subscribers, Cellcom, has inked a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with Home Center Mobile Ltd, a subsidiary of DIY chain Home Center, Globes Online reports. According to the report, Home Center, which has long been a customer of Cellcom, will offer a range of discounted tariffs and also sell mobile handsets in a bid to compete against the incumbent cellcos.
The announcement is the latest in a string of developments that followed the Israeli Ministry of Communications’ (MoC’s) award of the first MVNO concession back in June 2010. Since then a number of prospective players have inked agreements with the established network operators, with Alon Cellular having reached a deal with Partner Communications in March 2011, while Pelephone, the country’s second largest cellco in terms of customers, has inked three virtual operator deals with: Free Telecom (December 2010), Rami Levi (February 2011) and Ituran Location and Control Ltd. (July 2011). Currently only one MVNO, Ituran, has launched commercial services however, while others that had previously been awarded concessions, such as Telecom 365, a subsidiary of the Hamashbir retail group, have handed back their licences.