Israeli ISP and international calls provider Xfone is reportedly in final negotiations with local mobile network operator Pelephone regarding the establishment of a joint network, according to Haaretz.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Xfone was named as one of the successful bidders in Israel’s auction of 4G-suitable spectrum which finished in January 2015. At that date it was confirmed that Xfone had committed to paying ILS33 million (USD8.4 million) for a 5MHz block in the 1800MHz band.
However, discussions with Pelephone regarding the construction of a joint network are understood to have been spurred by the fact that the 5MHz block owned by Xfone is not enough to actually launch services. According to the report, should Xfone and Pelephone strike a deal, the former would be ready to offer commercial services within six months. In terms of its offerings, Xfone is said to be planning to market a single, simple package priced at ILS59 per month, including calls, SMS and data, while it will not look to entice customers with introductory deals or price changes.
A number of possible obstacles to a deal remain though, including Pelephone’s labour union and financing issues.