Partner: We can't cope without more frequencies
Mar 10, 2013 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Orange franchisee Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) today told the tenders committee for the allocation of 4G frequencies that without more frequencies it would not be able to meet expected mobile network loads.
Partner presented to the joint Ministry of Communications-Ministry of Finance committee an expert opinion which states that the company needs more frequencies to establish a high-quality 4G network. The company says that it needs 15 mega in the 1800-megahertz bandwidth and that it intends to bid in the frequencies tender when it is published.
Mobile carrier Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) has also asked to bid in the tender.
Cellcom currently has the largest number of frequencies, followed in descending order by Partner, Pelephone Communications Ltd., Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (TASE: HOT.B1), and Golan Telecom Ltd. The tenders committee will have to decide whether to allow Partner and Cellcom to bid in the tender, even though they already have frequencies in the requested bandwidth, or whether to allocate frequencies only to Pelephone and the new carriers Golan Telecom and HOT Mobile Ltd. The latter two carriers have not established 3G networks, and it is not clear whether they will establish nationwide networks as promised.
The tenders committee will also have to decide whether there is room for five mobile networks in Israel, when most countries in the world are switching to a model of shared networks, after realizing that individual networks were a blatant waste of resources.
Another matter that has not been decided is the allocation of frequencies to the Palestinian Authority, which faces an even worse shortage of frequencies than Israel. Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised that Israel will allocate frequencies to the Palestinian Authority.
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