Rivals Allying to Build 4G Network in Israel

Cellcom wants to ally with rivals Pelephone and Golan.

Cellcom Israel informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Wednesday that it was in early stage talks with Pelephone and Golan Telecom to create a jointly operated 4G cellphone network.

The jointly-run network, which would be built using LTE wireless broadband technology, would save each cellular service company hundreds of millions of shekels. Several weeks ago, Hot Telecommunication Systems and Partner Communications (which operates in Israel under the Orange brand name) signed a similar agreement. These agreements will have to receive the approval of the antitrust commissioner before going into effect.

Israel currently lacks a 4G network, with mobile users sufficing with 3G mobile broadband service with slower data transfer rates.

Bezeq, Cellcom’s parent company, issued an announcement saying that the negotiations were still under way and the agreement was far from sealed.

“At this stage there is no certainty that the talks will ripen into a deal or the content, conditions or date of the deal in question, which all require additional negotiation and approval from the relevant parties,” the statement said. It added that it was an uncertain whether regulatory approval would be given to such a deal if it were signed.

Hagai Frid