Israel - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
Investment in Israel's telecoms infrastructure under the spotlight Israel has a highly developed telecoms sector with wide coverage of fixed broadband services as well as both 3G and 4G mobile broadband available. In 2017 however, the recently appointed Communications Minister expressed concern that the highly competitive mobile market had caused operators profits to decline and this in turn was driving down the investment directed towards developing and updating infrastructure. This may create problems if the infrastructure cannot keep up with future demand. Israel offers a highly competitive mobile sector, with five operators all competing for customers who enjoy cheap 3G mobile services. While 4G coverage in Israel is significant, the adoption of such services remains below 20% and this has been partly attributed to the prohibitive cost of services and devices. Israel has a very high household internet penetration rate, almost all of which are broadband connections. There are a number of competing broadband platforms the DSL and fibre network of fixed-line incumbent Bezeq, the HFC network of HOT and the fibre network from Partner. Bezeq and HOT are both subject to broadband universal service obligations which has resulted in fixed 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 the high-tech sector 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. Recently Israel turned its attention towards the opportunities presented by the growing cyber-security sector.
There are concerns being raised that telecoms infrastructure investment is falling behind in Israel. The regulator recently approved a network sharing and hosting deal between Cellcom and Electra (which is acquiring Golan Telecom). In mid 2017 the Israel Securities Authority launched an investigation into Bezeq regarding possible securities law violations. In mid-2016 both Cellcom and Partner were given approval by the MoC to purchase a controlling stake in Israel Broadband Company (IBC).
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Bezeq, Bezeq International, Pelephone, HOT Telecom, HOT Mobile, Cellcom, 013 NetVision, Partner (Formerly Orange), 012 Smile, Xfone, Golan Telecom (Electra Communications), Israel Broadband Company (IBC).