Israel mobile industry set to consolidate

Israel's top three mobile carriers are engaged in a biding war to buy fellow operator the Motorola owned  MIRS.

Cellcom, Israel's largest mobile operator, and Partner, the challenger brand both announced on Monday that they had submitted non-binding offers without detailing the amount. The asset has been valued at around €212 million by analysts in recent months and has a 5% market share or just over 440,000 subscribers.

The bids follow number three carrier Pelephone, owned by Bezeq Israel Telecom announcing its intention  to acquire MIRS.

Speculation arose in June that Disney investment arm Shamrock Holdings, was in talks to buy the company.

MIRS operates an Motorola supplied iDEN network and has publicly stated its desire to upgrade a 3G platform.

The Ministry of Communications is currently holding a consultation over how to allocate spare 3G radio spectrum following a request from MIRS which was recently blocked from bidding for Wimax licenses.