Just a couple of weeks after it was first reported that Israeli mobile network operators Cellcom and Pelephone were mulling a 4G network rollout alliance, the two parties have reached an agreement in principle, according to Globes Online. While it is understood that there are still issues that need to be resolved, it is claimed that the two cellcos will soon be in a position to submit an agreement to their respective boards for approval, following which any deal would need to be given the nod by both the Israeli Antitrust Authority and the Ministry of Communications. A decision by the two companies not to seek a pre-ruling on the proposed joint venture from the Antitrust Authority is said to have been made with a view to avoiding dragging out the approval process.
Cellcom and Pelephone will reportedly split the cost of establishing the shared network equally, with this allowing each to benefit from savings against rolling out individual infrastructure, though an agreement related to the sharing of some costs related to connecting existing infrastructure still needs to be reached. One mooted idea is that the two companies will each take responsibility for a geographical area, with suggestions that a north-south divide could be followed, and each cellco providing the transmission to sites in one of the two regions.