Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) will reportedly give the go-ahead for the nation’s existing mobile network operators to offer LTE-based services prior to the auctioning of suitable spectrum, according to Globes Online. It is understood that Bezeq subsidiary Pelephone will be able to ‘borrow’ 5MHz of 4G-suitable spectrum, while both Partner Communications and Cellcom will use 5MHz blocks of frequency that they already own to offer the improved mobile broadband technology commercially.
According to the report, an MoC meeting conducted last week saw the idea raised of allowing existing carriers to operate 4G networks in a limited format ahead of a tender for new spectrum. Subsequently both Partner and Cellcom were said to have submitted requests to the regulator to utilise frequencies that they had respectively freed up for this purpose, while Pelephone sought to loan spectrum for the limited LTE rollout.
Commenting on the development, Israeli communications minister Gilad Erdan was cited as saying: ‘Very shortly, the companies will be able to use the advanced technology and prepare themselves for providing advanced fourth generation services to the general public. We shall insist that the investment in the advanced technology infrastructure will be the same in the periphery as in the centre of the country, in such a way as to narrow social gaps. The companies will undertake not to charge customers more for use of the more advanced technology.’