Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has confirmed a decision to phase out interconnection fees for both mobile and fixed voice services. The move follows initial proposals that were set out in September 2021.
In a press release regarding the matter, Israel’s communications minister Yoaz Hendel was cited as saying: ‘We are continuing to promote an innovative and competitive communications market and today we are removing another unnecessary regulation.’ According to the minister, the decision to gradually phase out interconnection fees will: reduce the phenomenon of ‘call and disconnect’, which mainly impacts ultra-Orthodox sector; provide an opportunity for mobile network operators (MNOs) to offer tariffs which include unlimited call allowances for a lower charge, as well as lower prices to fixed voice numbers; allow, in the future, the fixed to mobile number portability; and encourage competition among smaller operators.
According to the MoC, the ministerial decision will see the abolition of the existing control regarding connectivity fees by the end of 2025, with the country moving instead to a ‘bill and keep’ model. Under the plans, there will reportedly be a gradual reduction to interconnection rates over a three-year period prior to their eventual abolition.