Israel looks set to launch a long-awaited tender for 5G-suitable spectrum within the next two weeks, Reuters reports, citing comments made by an unnamed government spokesperson. With the Ministry of Communications (MoC) having outlined initial plans for multi-band frequency auction in December 2018, it had said it was hoping to allocate spectrum by the end of 2019, to allow commercial deployment of 5G services to take place – likely between 2020 and 2023. Now, the MoC spokesperson has been cited as saying that the tender for the auction is likely to be opened up in ‘a week or two’.
The unconfirmed report has also suggested that, given the potential costs involved for the spectrum, Israel’s two largest cellcos by subscribers, Cellcom and Partner Communications, could look to make joint bids at the auction with other local service providers such as HOT Telecommunications or Golan Telecom; both Cellcom and Partner were said to have declined to comment on their plans, however. Pelephone has though confirmed it does intend to make a solo bid for frequencies, whenever the sale process gets underway.