Israel aiming for 4G spectrum allocation this year?

8 Jan 2013

Israel’s minister of communications Eden Bar-Tal has indicated that the government is examining the licensing process for fourth-generation services, Globes Online reports. With the Ministry of Communications (MoC) currently discussing its work plan for the coming year, a number of options relating to the issue of 4G concessions are reportedly being studied. Further, it is understood that the state hopes to not only hold a tender for such frequencies this year, but to allocate frequencies with a view to allowing operators to begin planning, and even establishing, networks before the end of 2013.

The news source notes that Bar-Tal has previously suggested the state will allocate spectrum in the 1800MHz band for 4G networks, and with mobile network operators Cellcom and Partner Communications already holding such frequencies it is thought the duo will be barred from acquiring additional spectrum in the band. With the tenders committee expected to convene in the near future to decide on how much spectrum will be made available, it has been claimed it will also consider matters such as what course of action to take should Cellcom and Partner look to use their spectrum to quickly roll out 4G networks, while other operators would have to wait for the allocation of any new frequencies. While the MoC has reportedly said that it aims to prevent such a situation from occurring, it has yet to detail how it aims to achieve this.