Following the conclusion of Israel’s auction of 5G-suitable spectrum last month, the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has formally awarded concessions to Partner Communications and HOT Mobile, which bid jointly for a licence, as well as Pelephone. Confirming the development, Pelephone parent Bezeq issued a statement in which it said it had been notified that communications minister Yoaz Hendel had signed an order expanding Pelephone’s general licence, with the cellco having now been allocated its new frequencies.
Hot on the heels of the spectrum being handed over, all three operators are understood to have launched 5G services on a commercial basis. For its part, Pelephone is understood to be offering the next generation of mobile broadband technology in 150 locations at launch, including Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ra’anana, Dimona and Kiryat Shmona. Further, according to the Jerusalem Post, the cellco claims to have already deployed at least one 5G mast in every city and town in the country. In terms of pricing, It is offering two 5G plans, one with 200GB of data per month and the other with 500GB, with these priced at ILS49.9 (USD14.4) and ILS59.9, respectively.
Meanwhile, Partner and HOT Mobile are said to have deployed 250 5G-capable sites across Israel, and have plans to add more on a ‘regular basis’. Pricing for both operators’ 5G services are broadly similar, with each operator marketing a plan which offers 500GB of data for ILS59.9 per month and a plan with a 1TB monthly allowance for ILS69.9.
Conspicuous by their absence, meanwhile, were Cellcom, Golan Telecom and Marathon Telecom (owner of 018 Xfone), which successfully bid jointly for 5G-suitable spectrum back in August; no mention of the trio was made in the MoC’s announcement regarding the formal licence awards.