Israel’s newest mobile network operator, Golan Telecom, has announced that it has signed up more than 50,000 subscribers since launching services in mid-May 2012. According to Globes Online, in revealing the current rate of uptake the cellco has also announced that it is expanding its call centre and customer service centre, while also hiring more staff in order to cope with demand. Answering criticisms regarding difficulties encountered by customers looking to switch across from an existing provider, and from those trying to reach its customer services teams, the telco noted: ‘Due to the unprecedented response and impressive recruitment by Golan Telecom, there has been overload, which caused delays, including in the registration process and partly due to obstacles to switching to Golan Telecom by some competitors.’
Another problem has emerged for the fledgling operator, meanwhile, with the Ministry of Communications (MoC) having instructed it to stop offering international calls until it is in receipt of an operating permit. A similar order has been given to HOT Mobile, the wireless unit of cableco HOT Telecommunication Systems, which also inaugurated wireless voice services last month. It is understood that the MoC has claimed that Golan and HOT had begun offering international calls without an operating permit; while both are in receipt of a licence to offer such calls, by law operators are required to obtain the permit, which enables the regulator to ensure that all necessary system work has been carried out and that interconnection with other carriers is in place.