Israeli telecoms watchdog the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has launched a tender for Long Term Evolution (LTE)-suitable spectrum in the 1800MHz band. According to a press release, the regulator has invited applications from domestic mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), as well as other companies willing to meet specific conditions. Bidding will start at ILS10 million (USD2.9 million) for each of the eight available 5MHz frequency blocks; new market entrants and small-scale operators could be entitled to receive up to a 50% discount. However, the ministry has imposed a number of restrictions with regards to the number of blocks that operators are allowed to bid for.
Under the terms set out by the document, successful bidders are required to establish and operate 4G networks covering 30% of the country within 18 months of the date of the licence authorisation, and must achieve 65% territorial coverage within three years. By the end of Phase III (four years after the licence award), the 4G networks should provide 100% coverage.
The Ministry has pointed out that all interested parties may request further details and submit objections to the tender documents by 23 July 2014, with 14 September 2014 outlined as the tender deadline; potential bidders should submit their applications for the frequencies by 28 September.