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A cellphone user choosing from an app. Photo by Bloomberg
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The price of cell phone services keeps going down, with the latest offer - an introductory package costing just NIS 39 a month - coming from YouPhone, the cellular provider owned by the Blue Square retailing group.

The monthly package includes unlimited calls and text messages as well as one gigabyte of surfing, at the reduced price for subscribers in the first four months after they sign up. They can also buy a iPhone 5 for NIS 3,770 as part of the offer.

After the first four months, the charge goes up to NIS 79, still the lowest among mobile providers. CEO Ariel Schreiber said subscribers were in fact paying less than that.

"Our customers are today paying an average price of NIS 40 a month thanks to refunds they get from purchases at Mega [supermarkets] and Dor-Alon [filling stations]," he said.

The YouPhone price is NIS 10 a month less than the introductory rates of HOT Telecom and Gold Telecom, two other new players in the market that are working hard to recruit customers since the market opened to stiff competition last spring.

The new cell phone companies will be able to retrieve part of their bank guarantees they made as part of receiving their licenses based on how much market share they capture. Hence the race to win new subscribers.