Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has reportedly taken a further step towards creating a wholesale telecoms market by setting the prices which operators will be required to pay for services offered over Bezeq’s infrastructure. According to Reuters, in the wake of the news the fixed line incumbent has argued that the proposed pricing structure will ‘negatively impact’ its financial results though the introduction of wholesale access could allow Bezeq to merge its units and bring an end to the supervision of its retail pricing. With cableco HOT Telecommunication Systems the country’s only other infrastructure provider, it has been suggested that MoC is seeking to break it and Bezeq’s ‘duopoly’ via reforms. Commenting on the plans, the Israeli communications minister Gilad Erdan was cited as saying: ‘Opening the possibility to all telecoms companies to use Internet infrastructure of Bezeq and HOT, at wholesale prices, will finally allow for competition in the telecoms market and lower prices the public pays for communications services.’
Under the government’s plans, a wholesale price of ILS50 (USD12.87) per month has been set for fixed voice line and an internet connection offering a downlink speed of 20Mbps. Meanwhile, a press release issued by the MoC stated that the charge for a 100Mbps plan would be ILS84 per month. A hearing, scheduled for 16 February, will look to finalise the pricing structure, it is understood.