Tech Nation

Mobile carriers get ready for 4G

Israel’s wireless providers are readying to offer 4G technology, which promises users faster data speeds. But everything awaits the Communications Ministry’s auction of the radio frequencies. Partner Communications said Wednesday it had spent 640 million shekels ($186 million) on its 4G network, built with LTE technology, and expects to have all of Israel covered by the end of the year. Pelephone, Bezeq’s wireless unit, said a day earlier that a field test of its 4G LTE network reported a peak download rate of 70 megabytes a second and a peak upload rate of 40 Mbps using a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone. In response, rival Cellcom Israel said its LTE tests a year ago showed maximum download speeds of 150 Mbps and an upload speeds of 50 Mbps. (Amitai Ziv)

Solid-state storage startup Elastifile raises $8 million from venture funds

The solid-state storage startup Elastifile has raised $8 million in its first round of investment from the U.S. venture capital funds Battery Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company said it will use the proceeds to hire 20 to 25 new employees in research and development this year. Elastifile currently has 10 employees. The Herzliya-based company was founded by the serial entrepreneurs Amir Aharoni, Shahar Frank and Roni Luxenberg. Frank was cofounder of XtremIO, the solid-state storage player purchased by EMC in 2012 for $430 million. Aharoni did stints at Mobixell Networks and Optibase, while VP R&D Roni Luxenburg was head of software engineering at Red Hat. (Haaretz Staff)

Ness Technologies gets NIS 50 million cash infusion

The controlling shareholders of Ness Technologies are injecting some 50 million shekels ($14.3 million) into the information services company, CEO Shachar Efal told employees this week. “The cash aims at strengthening the company while preserving as many jobs as possible and to support our developing new growth engines,” said Efal, who took over as CEO in October. To help the recovery, Efal said top managers will be taking pay cuts of 6% to 10% while the company’s 7,000 employees will lose four vacation days in 2014. Ness, which is controlled by a private equity firm owned by Citigroup of the United States, has come under pressure as companies cut back on their IT service outsourcing and Ness lost a key contract with the Israel Air Force. (Orr Hirschauge)

Dan Keinan