Israeli regulator delays 5G cellular tender by two weeks

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JERUSALEM (Information) – Israel’s telecoms regulator on Sunday delayed a young for fifth-generation (5G) mobile frequencies after cellular corporations requested for extra time.

The Communications Ministry in July printed the tender within the hope that reductions to cash-strapped cell phone operators battling fierce competitors would entice bids. The tender was scheduled to happen on Sunday.

“So far as the ministry is anxious, we’re solely suspending for 2 weeks,” a ministry spokesman mentioned. “Requests for additional delays can be thought of by the committee.”

One of many requests got here from Companion Communications, Israel’s second-largest cellular operator, on grounds it was going via a board shake-up when various administrators – together with the chairman – resigned final week. On Thursday, Companion named Osnat Rosen as chairwoman.

The telecoms regulator expects three teams to bid, together with a mix of operators to chop down on prices. It had deliberate to announce winners by the tip of the 12 months, with a business launch to start out in 2020 and persevering with via 2023.

Israel’s three primary telecom operators — Cellcom, Companion and Bezeq unit Pelephone — are struggling to remain worthwhile in a rustic with 9 million folks and 9 cellular suppliers after a sector shake-up in 2012.

Israeli media mentioned corporations stay confused by the phrases of the tender however the ministry mentioned the tender mannequin has been used 30 occasions in Europe and North America.

Revenues within the cellular sector fell 5.6% in 2018 however the carriers will probably put money into 5G to fulfill rising demand, analysts say.

Israel is providing incentives of as much as 500 million shekels ($144 million), together with delaying the necessity to pay for the license till 2022. The Communications Ministry will give grants to operators that deploy at the very least 250 5G antennas.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Enhancing by Mark Potter