Interest in obtaining an Israeli MVNO licence remains high with another local company announcing its intention to apply for a licence. International calls carrier 018 Xfone Communications has applied for an MVNO licence following in the footsteps of Telecom 365, a subsidiary of the Hamashbir retail group, the Israel Postal Company and Free Telecom, which is owned by Shlomo Shmeltzer, the controlling shareholder in Israel Shipyards.
To date only Telecom 365 and Free Telecom have received their MVNO licences. Even when all the applicants have been awarded MVNO licences, further delays are expected as the Israeli Ministry of Communications has not yet determined the tariffs that will form part of the negotiations between potential MVNOs and incumbent operators. The existing Israeli mobile operators are blocking these negotiations and refusing to allow MVNOs access to their networks.
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