Israel - Key Statistics, Telecommunications Market and Regulatory Overviews
Israel possesses a well-developed telecommunications market characterised by high penetration and a significant number of service providers. Regulation remains the responsibility of the Ministry of Communication, which has been encouraging competition through various regulatory mechanisms. Several operators have been licensed to provide VoIP services, which are usually referred to as Voice over Broadband (VOB) in Israel. Fixed network operators are required to allow VOB licensees access to their networks. Nevertheless, telecoms incumbent Bezeq continues to dominate the fixed-line market, and only one company, cable TV and triple play provider HOT Telecom, has had success in gaining a portion of the fixed-line market. While several providers offer fixed telephony using VoIP, Bezeq and HOT are the only fixed network operators in Israel. Unsuccessful in stimulating competition, the Ministry of Communications will remove structural separation in exchange for the creation of a viable wholesale market.
Nine years after the start of privatisation, the government has sold its final remaining 0.97% interest in Bezeq; a Net Neutrality law covers fixed line ISPs as well as mobile operators; the Ministry of Communications is developing a wholesale market including Bitstream Access, lease of access segments, dark fibres, tubes, and transmission services.
Companies covered in this report:
Bezeq, Bezeq International, Pelephone, HOT Telecom, HOT Mobile, Cellcom, 013 NetVision, Partner (Orange), 012 Smile, Xfone, Golan Telecom, Israel Broadband Company (IBC).