Israel to close GSM and 3G networks by end-2025

Israel to close GSM and 3G networks by end-2025

Israel’s developed economy largely revolves around high technology products, primarily used in the medical, biotechnology, agricultural, materials, and military industries. The country also attracts investment in its cyber-security industry, and has established itself as a hub for thousands of start-up companies.

To underpin these developments, Israel has developed a robust telecoms sector. Household broadband penetration is high, with a focus on fibre-network deployment. Bezeq offers FttP services with data rates of up to 2.5Gb/s.

LTE services are almost universally available, while the August 2020 multi-spectrum auction also enabled the MNOs to provide services based on 5G. In coming years, 5G will be supported by moves to close down GSM and 3G networks in stages through to the end of 2025, with the physical assets and spectrum to be repurposed for LTE and 5G use.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure.

Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report. The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators.

Key developments:

  • Telecom regulator concludes 5G auction, proposes end to all interconnection rates, sets timeline for the closure of GSM and 3G networks by end-2025;
  • Bezeq launches its fibre network, offering data rates of up to 2.5Gb/s;
  • Research Committee awards second-round 5G-related grants to innovative companies;
  • Bids made by Cellcom and Partner Communications for 018 Xfone;
  • Universal Service Obligations on Bezeq and HOT Telecom help extend broadband availability to 99% of households;
  • Report update includes Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2021, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeComm, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeComm report:

Report title: Israel - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: September 2021

Lead Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Number of pages: 150

Companies mentioned in this report: Bezeq, Bezeq International, Pelephone, HOT Telecom, HOT Mobile, Cellcom, 013 NetVision, Partner (Formerly Orange), 012 Smile, Xfone, Golan Telecom (Electra Communications), Israel Broadband Company (IBC); Remi Levy, Mobile 019

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