Israeli mobile network operators Cellcom and Golan Telecom are said to have called on the communications and finance ministers to allow them to lodge a joint tender for 4G frequencies. According to Globes Online, while the terms of the country’s upcoming 4G auction currently require the duo to compete for spectrum separately, it has been noted that the network-sharing agreement between them has prompted the request to submit a joint bid.
It is understood that Cellcom and Golan have argued that prior approval for the submission of a joint bid would create certainty for those companies planning to take part in the auction, allowing them to plan exactly what frequencies they would need to acquire. Further, the pair has suggested that without being able to lodge a joint bid they may find themselves in a position where they would have to return spectrum – as each carrier may not have more than 20MHz of LTE-suitable frequencies. With this in turn likely meaning another sale process for such frequencies, they argue that any secondary tender could harm those that did not secure frequencies in the first, as they would have to pay more due to there being a smaller allocation of spectrum to bid for.