Monday, 29 June 2009

Israel mulls over MVNO as fifth mobile operator – Israel

Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, is currently debating the Economic Arrangements Bill which if passed would pave the way for the addition of an MVNO to the mobile landscape. The Economic Arrangements Bill, which is attached to the introduction of the national budget, contains a clause which calls for an MVNO to become the fifth mobile operator in Israel. Mobile operators have a short period to provide feedback, once this period of consultation is over the Bill will be voted on in its entirety in the middle of July.

If the Economic Arrangements Bill passes into law and the Israeli Ministry of Communications publish its requirements for virtual operators to enter the market then potential MVNOs could be applying for a licence and negotiating with operators over network access within a few months.

Israeli law gives MVNOs up to six months negotiating time with operators, if both sides remain at loggerheads after the six month limit then the government can step-in and impose an agreement.

Hot, O12 Smile, Xfone and Israel Post are all rumoured to be interested in taking advantage of the clause in the Bill and becoming an MVNO.