Israel shares out 5G spectrum

Israel is about to join the ranks of 5G countries after the award by the Israeli regulator of licences for the country’s 5G networks.

According to Reuters, the number one mobile phone operator, Cellcom, will pay about $33.8 million in license fees. The second biggest player, Partner Communications, alongside number four MNO, HOT Mobile, will pay about $18.3 million for its frequencies. Partner operates a joint radio network with HOT.

Pelephone, a subsidiary of Bezeq Israel Telecom, has said it will pay about $26 million. The payments are due to be made by September 2022.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, Partner Communications and HOT Mobile now have 10 MHz in the 700 MHz frequency band, 20 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band, and 100 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band, which is to be assigned to both companies. 

Cellcom and its partners to the shared cellular network secured 10 MHz in the 700 MHz band, 20 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band, and 100 MHz in the 3.5 GHz to 3.8 GHz bands.

This isn’t an easy market to compete in. Although the six main MNOs are about to become five with Cellcom’s purchase of Golan Telecom, there are also three or four MVNOS. The various operators are all competing to serve a market of well under ten million people.

After the merger with Golan is finalised, Cellcom will have boosted its subscriber base to somewhere in the region of 3.6 million (compared to Partner’s 2.66 million), making the merged entity Israel's largest mobile telephony group.

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