Israel’s Partner Communications has confirmed that the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has approved a network sharing agreement (NSA) between it and HOT Mobile, the wireless subsidiary of local cableco HOT Telecommunication Systems. With the country’s Antitrust Commissioner having actually given the go-ahead for the deal as far back as May 2014, Partner noted that its NSA with HOT is currently ‘the first and only network sharing agreement in Israel to receive the approval of the Commissioner and the MoC’.
In a press release confirming the development Partner noted that the shared cellular network belonging to it and HOT Mobile will be operated via a joint venture (JV), which it said will look to optimise the infrastructure by reducing the number of network sites, while improving network coverage and capacity and introducing new technologies, in order to improve network efficiency, optimise operating costs and environmental impact. However, it did highlight the fact that the operation of this JV remains subject to the grant of a telecommunications licence, as well the allocation to it of the respective 5MHz blocks of 1800MHz spectrum which Partner and HOT Mobile acquired via auction in January 2015.
Meanwhile, Partner has confirmed it will continue to ‘differentiate its high standard services from its competitors’ by retaining and operating its own core network, and will be responsible for providing advanced cellular telecommunication services to its own customers, including the provision of customer service, value-added services, marketing and sales.