Israeli cellcos press for direct allocation of 4G spectrum

9 Jun 2014

Israel’s existing mobile operators have reportedly said they are opposed to a tender that would allow new companies to acquire 4G frequencies and enter the nation’s wireless sector, according to Globes Online. With a tender for such spectrum expected to be published in the coming weeks, it is understood that cellcos have called for frequencies to be allocated directly to existing players by the Ministry of Communications, at a fixed price set by the Ministry of Finance. Such a strategy, the operators are said to have claimed, would prevent a bidding war that could send prices for LTE-suitable spectrum rocketing due to the limited amount of frequencies available. Further, they have also argued that, as it has already been decided to establish three 4G networks in Israel, frequencies should therefore be allocated based on considerations other than the price. The calls for a restricted allocation of 4G spectrum come amid suggestions that Israeli cellcos are concerned that one of the nation’s mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) could look to bid if a tender were to be carried out.