Israel - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analysis
Israel mobile penetration amongst highest in the world
Israel is home to one of the highest mobile penetrations in the world with almost 130% penetration per 100 inhabitants. This is partly due to a strong rate of fixed-mobile substitution in recent years. The increased competition created by the newer mobile infrastructure operators, Golan and Hot Mobile has also led to a decline in mobile prices, which is also driving uptake. Israel mobile customers have also begun moving towards 4G services.
In 2016 Israel also boasts a high broadband penetration. Services are accessible via ADSL, cable, and fibre optic platforms, as well as mobile broadband. Increasing availability of fibre due to capital expenditure has resulted in increased average speeds. There are two other competing infrastructures – the DSL network of fixed-line incumbent Bezeq and the digital cable network of HOT. ADSL is the leading infrastructure. Both Bezeq and HOT are subject to broadband universal service obligations. This has resulted in broadband being available to 99% of all households.
Israel has developed worldwide recognition has a premier location for start-up incubation and a number of innovations have emerged from the country over the past few years. Interest in tech start-ups is still a key growth area for Israel with the US and China in particular setting up and investing in various research labs and solutions. The start-up sector is fuelling digital economy and digital media developments in Israel.
Key telecom parameters – 2013; 2016
Sector | 2013 | 2016
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
Fixed Broadband | 2.0 | 2.3
Fixed-line telephony | 3.3 | 3.4
Mobile phone | 9.5 | 10.5
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
In 2015 Hot Mobile gained the most new mobile subscribers overall (158,000), followed by Gonal Telecom (130,000). In contrast, Pelephone, Partner and Cellcom all reported yearly subscriber losses overall.
During 2015 Cellcom expanded heavily in the TV and wholesale markets as a result of declining revenues.
A planned proposal of Golan Telecom by Cellcom in 2015 was rejected by the Israeli Antitrust Authority (IAA) and the Ministry of Communications (MoC).
In late 2016 Golan Telecom was still up for sale and attracting a number on interested parties.
Competition increased in 2015 with the introduction of wholesale infrastructure rental arrangements to allow competitors to offer fixed services.
In late 2016 the Antitrust Commissioner approved a network sharing and hosting agreement between Cellcom and Marathon 018 Xfone.
Bezeq is demonstrating a keen interest in developing smart cities.