Three major Israeli operators have launched commercial 5G services after being issued licences by the country’s government.
Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has awarded the concessions following last month’s auction of 5G-capable spectrum frequencies, in which HOT Mobile and Partner Communications joined forces to acquire a licence, with Pelephone the third winner.
Bezeq, the parent firm of Pelephone, issued a statement confirming that it had been notified of the update to its general licence, with Communications Minster Yoaz Handel signing off on the operator’s new spectrum allocation.
In governmental statement, Handel noted that Israel had slowed in terms of infrastructure deployment and that 5G would help with “returning to leadership” in the telecoms sector by facilitating “the advancement of industry, high-tech, smart cities and IoT technology”.
As reported by CommsUpdate, Pelephone – alongside its rivals – wasted no time in launching its 5G offering, with the firm reportedly going live with 5G mobile broadband in 150 locations including Dimona, Haifa, Kiryat Shmona, Ra’anana and Tel Aviv.
This list will likely expand swiftly, with the Jerusalem Post reporting that Pelephone claims to have installed at least one 5G mast in every major town and city across Israel. Similarly, HOT and Partner reportedly have 250 5G-ready sites in the country, and plan to increase this number “on a regular basis”.
HOT and Partner are offering similar pricing plans featuring 500GB and 1TB monthly data allowances, which will respectively cost around ILS59.9 (US$17.50) and ILS69.9. Pelephone is not deviating from these rates with its 500GB plan but is offering lower allowances, with a 200GB plan at ILS49.9 monthly.
Notably, Israel’s other three operators – Cellcom, Golan Telecom and Marathon Telecom – went unmentioned by the ministry’s statement, despite their successful joint bid on 5G spectrum in August’s auction.