Cellcom Israel, Golan Telecom seek approval for network-sharing deal

Cellcom Israel and Golan Telecom are reportedly stepping up efforts to gain approval of network sharing agreements covering their 2G/3G/4G infrastructure after the government gave the green light to a rival deal last week.

According to English-language publication Globes Online, the companies said their deal is no different in substance from a 3G/4G network sharing agreement between Altice subsidiary Hot Telecom and Partner Communication that has now been authorised by Israel's Ministry of Communication (MOC).

Cellcom and Golan Telecom are now working hard to obtain approval, although Globes Online noted that the MOC initially rejected ttheir agreement.

Globes Online commented that the question of ownership and the services that Golan Telecom will purchase from Cellcom's 3G network are at the heart of the problem, and require changes to the original agreement. This is in order to avoid future complaints from rivals that the agreement would make it too easy for Golan Telecom, which is a relatively new entrant, to make progress in the market.

Cellcom said at the end of March that the MOC had notified it of the need for substantial changes to the networking sharing agreements with Golan before a detailed review could be carried out. Cellcom added that it was studying the implications of such requested changes and was working with Golan to implement them.

In January, Israel awarded LTE spectrum in the 1800 MHz band to six companies, finally concluding a tender issued by the Ministry of Communications in July last year and opening up the LTE market to three new players.

For more:
- see this Globes Online article
- see this Cellcom Israel release

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Cellcom Israel reports 18% rise in Q2 net profit
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Partner launches Israel's first LTE services
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