Israel’s Golan Telecom, despite already having a roaming and site-sharing agreement with the market’s largest cellco by subscribers Cellcom, is reportedly in talks to strike similar deals with both Partner Communications and Pelephone. According to Globes Online, Golan, which finally emerged as one of the two winners of an Israeli 3G concession in August 2011 after a number of other would-be players failed to meet the financial obligations of the licence, plans to use the sites owned by Partner and Pelephone in order to ensure its network coverage reaches maximum deployment in a short space of time. It is understood that the move is being considered as Golan sees its site-sharing agreement with Cellcom as insufficient, and difficulty in finding available sites has prompted the yet-to-launch player to seek co-operation with the country’s other cellcos.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in November 2011 Golan selected Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to construct its mobile network, with the vendor chosen in part due to links already held between NSN and Golan’s partner, French mobile carrier Free Telecom. Subsequently though, in December 2011 Israeli mobile operator MIRS Communications reportedly blocked NSN from rolling out network infrastructure for Golan; as NSN is also the exclusive vendor for MIRS Communications, the latter had been required to give its consent for the contract between NSN and Golan. With MIRS having previously expressed concern as to whether the vendor would be able to construct the two sets of infrastructure simultaneously, it was revealed that while the Finnish vendor will sell equipment to Golan, it will not roll out the new player’s network. It is understood that NSN has promised MIRS priority in the delivery of equipment and infrastructure construction work, but it remains unclear whether such measures will allow the Golan deal to continue as originally intended.