Israel is set to launch a long anticipated tender for country’s fifth generation (5G) mobile networks which is likely to be in two weeks, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.
Despite having a tech sector in the country that is more vibrant than that of many of the developed nations, countries like Britain, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland have left the Israel behind in starting rolling out 5G services to get the benefit of its speed which is at least 10 times more than that of 4G networks.
In late last year, Israel’s Communication Ministry had said that it will be the end of year 2019 when it is hoping allocating frequencies with expectations of 5G services commercially launching between 2020 and 2023.
Now, on Tuesday, a spokesman for the ministry said that in a time period of a week or two, the ministry is likely to be initiating the tender.
Partner Communications and Cellcom which are the country’s two largest mobile operators though declined any comments about their 5G plans but due to the high cost of the allocated frequencies that is around 2 billion shekels ($560 million), both companies are likely to be joining hands with other rivals like Golan and HOT while biding for the tender. On the other hand, Pelephone, a unit of Bezeq Israel Telecom and the third-largest mobile operator, said that it is in plans of bidding alone.
In country like Israel having a population of nine million with nine mobile service provider operating, all three major mobile providers are struggling to retain their profitability.
Revenues in the country’s mobile networks sector dropped by 5.6% in 2018 leaving many of the carrier with less of the cash, but they are likely to be investing in 5G to provide boost up to their networks to meet the market’s demand that is growing gradually, analysts say.