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Cellcom to begin frequency migration in June 2020; confirms credit line and additional investment for IBC

19 Mar 2020

Israeli mobile network operator (MNO) Cellcom has announced that the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has instructed it to begin a process of migrating its spectrum to bring it in line with European standards from 1 June 2020. Previously, the cellco had been informed that the MoC had received instructions from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to commence a process which would ensure frequencies used by Israeli MNOs align with European norms. Specifically, Cellcom noted it would be required to migrate to 900MHz frequencies compatible with international standardisation for its region no later than 22 March 2021, with this new spectrum to replace an existing 850MHz frequencies allocation which is due to expire on 1 February 2022.

In a brief press release confirming the timeline for the spectrum migration, Cellcom noted that the MoC ‘may further allocate to [it] additional frequencies for limited periods during the transition period’.

Meanwhile, in a separate press release, Cellcom announced that its indirect subsidiary Israel Broadband Company (IBC) has entered into an agreement with an unnamed Israeli financial institution, under which it will be awarded a credit line of up to ILS350 million (USD92 million). The funds are due to be repaid by 31 December 2032, and will be used to ‘further [IBC’s] business operation, including deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure in Israel’. Additionally, Cellcom also revealed that the joint venture partnership between it and the Israel Infrastructure Fund (IIF) which now controls IBC have undertaken to provide the fibre broadband company with an additional investment of ILS50 million before the end of 2021.

Israel, Cellcom, Ministry of Communications

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