Israel's mobile market is served by five mobile network operators Partner's Orange, Bezeq's Pelephone, Cellcom, HOT Mobile, and Golan Telecom as well as by a number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Cellcom is the mobile market leader, followed by Partner, which trades under the Orange brand name. Factors that have helped drive competition include full mobile number portability and regulatory barriers that prevent operators from linking sales of handsets to services, or offering discounts to customers that commit to longer periods. Strong competition has led to operators focusing on mobile data and content opportunities as well as on costs, resulting in a number of infrastructure sharing agreements.
In 2015 Cellcomm more aggressively targeted the TV market launching its own service based on set-top box; Cellcom, Pelephone, Orange, Golan Telecom, Hot Mobile, and Marathon Mobile have all won spectrum in a 4G LTE auction concluded in January 2015; following regulatory approval, Partner, Cellcom, and Pelephone have used existing or borrowed spectrum to launch LTE services ahead of the 4G auction; the Ministry of Communication has published a network-sharing policy; network sharing agreements have been set up between Partner and HOT Telecom, and between Cellcom and Golan, among others.
Companies covered in this report:
Cellcom, Orange (Partner), Pelephone (Bezeq), HOT Mobile, Golan Telecom, Rami Levy, Alon Cellular, Home Cellular, Marathon Mobile/Marathon 018 Xphone, Rounds.