10 Aug 2015
Following a number of delays, Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has finally assigned 4G spectrum to those companies that secured such frequencies earlier this year, according to Globes Online. On the back of the development Pelephone, Partner Communications (Orange) and HOT Mobile are all expected to launch full commercial LTE-based services almost immediately. Cellcom and Golan Telecom, however, will not reportedly be able to launch similar services with full capacity just yet, as the pair have yet to receive regulatory approval for their proposed 4G network sharing agreement.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in January 2015 the MoC named six winning bidders in its 4G spectrum auction, with the sale raising ILS250.5 million (USD63.5 million) in total for state coffers. Pelephone bagged the most new spectrum, agreeing to pay a total of ILS96 million for 15MHz in the 1800MHz band, while both of the nation’s other more established cellcos – Partner and Cellcom – each agreed to acquire a 5MHz block in the aforementioned band, with the former paying ILS33.5 million and the latter ILS32.5 million. Newer mobile network operators HOT Mobile and Golan Telecom also secured a 5MHz block each in the 1800MHz band, with HOT paying the highest per MHz of any operator, at ILS6.9 million per MHz (ILS34.5 million in total), and Golan slightly lower than that at ILS6.8 million per MHz (ILS34 million). Rounding out the winners, fixed calls and internet service provider (ISP) 018 Xfone bid ILS33 million for its LTE-suitable spectrum.