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Israel - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 29 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 124

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

High level of competition in Israel’s mobile market

Mobile operators in Israel have increasingly felt the pressure from a highly competitive market, resulting in declining profits and revenue. Mobile ARPUs have dropped over the past few years for all the major operators, with the market accommodating six mobile operators.

In 2019 the government begun its tender process for 5G licensing; with the expectation that some operators may join together in the bidding process in order to meet the financial requirements.

While 4G coverage in Israel is significant, the adoption of such services remains low 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. · DSL subscriptions hold the largest market share of fixed broadband subscriptions. Fibre-network deployment is well underway as well, led by the Israel Broadband Company (IBC). Bezeq and HOT are both subject to broadband universal service obligations which has resulted in fixed broadband being available to 99% of all households.

Interest in the high-tech sector is still a key growth area for Israel with many start-ups operating. Recently Israel turned its attention towards the opportunities presented by the growing cyber-security sector.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • In 2019 the regulator launched a tender of 5G spectrum in the 700 MHz, 2600 MHz and 3500–3800 MHz bands.
  • In 2018 Israel gained a new mobile operator with 018 Xfone launching 4G mobile services under the We4G brand.
  • There are concerns being raised that telecoms infrastructure investment is falling behind in Israel.
  • In 2018 Bezeq was directed by the Ministry of Communications to begin offering wholesale telephony services.
  • Assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector.

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); Remi Levy, Mobile 019.

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