Israeli fixed incumbent Bezeq may be forced to slash its calling rates following a proposal from the country’s outgoing communications minister, Yoaz Hendel.
In one of his final acts as minister, Hendel has called for Bezeq to reduce the maximum monthly rate for a fixed line by more than half - from ILS57.92 to ILS24.36 (US$7.5) including VAT.
Hendel also proposed that the operator cut its calling rates to both rival fixed networks and mobile numbers, suggesting a per minute cap of ILS0.014 for the former and ILS0.084 for the latter. A statement from the ministry indicated that the proposal could save fixed line callers as much as ILS331 million annually.
Liran Avishar Ben-Horin, director general of the Ministry of Communications, said: “The tariff update is requested after 17 years and the changes that have taken place in the communications market and technological developments in recent years, and is expected to produce the right balance between company costs and service payments and subscriber payments.”
Bezeq has expressed discontent at the proposals, releasing a statement in which it claims that the suggested changes would have a “material adverse effect” on its financials. As reported by CommsUpdate, the operator is examining the hearing documents issued by the ministry and preparing a response to be issued before 4th January 2021.