The companies will pay the state NIS 265 million for the frequencies

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After a nerve-racking week for the cellular companies, the 5th generation tender ended today (Wednesday), during which the companies fought over frequencies, for which they will provide faster and higher-quality services to consumers in the coming weeks. The length of the auction depended on the excess demand relative to other auctions made in the world, it ended faster than expected.

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According to the results of the tender, the license fee will be NIS 265 million: Cellcom, Golan Telecom and Expon will pay NIS 115 million; Pelephone will pay NIS 88.23 million; Partner and Hot Mobile will pay NIS 62.38 million. For comparison, in the 4th generation tender at the beginning of 2015, the state raised NIS 250 million.

The companies won more or less equal amounts of frequencies, and although some frequencies in the 5th generation field were open to competition from outside companies as well, no company won them.

The companies will be required to pay the license fee only in September 2022, with NIS 200 million of which is expected to be returned to them about a month later from the state budget for 2022, in the form of deployment incentives in accordance with targets and the previous winner method.

Minister of Communications Yoaz Handel and Director General of his office Liran Avishar Ben Horin in the management room of the 5th generation tender Photo: Government Press Office

On the new frequencies, the companies will be required to pay an estimated annual fee of about NIS 80 million, to a fee that currently stands at about NIS 320 million. However, the tender proposes, subject to government approval, that payments will only begin in the fifth year after the end of the tender.

Now, the companies will begin to inherit the country with 5th generation capabilities, in the first phase on the basis of upgrading the existing 4th generation sites. In the initial phase, the deployment is estimated at NIS 2 billion for the three groups. The companies are required to be deployed nationwide within five years, but in the coming weeks consumers will begin to experience 5th generation signals on compatible mobile devices, in certain areas of the country that have long been inherited. The companies have already begun selling Shiomi models that support 5th generation, and later Wavi, Samsung, LG and Apple models will also arrive in Israel.

 Photo: Omar Kabir

Pelephone announced at the beginning of the tender that it would not charge a more expensive price for the 5th generation service, contrary to the expectation that the companies will take advantage of the new technology in order to raise prices and rehabilitate their condition. That is, a consumer will be able to enjoy absorption in upgraded quality and stay in the same package and at the current price he is paying. At the same time, the companies will offer value-added services for which they will charge a premium, such as Pelephone, which offers a cellular line with 500 GB for NIS 59.9 per month. Partner also announced that it will offer dedicated packages at a starting price of NIS 59.9.

Generation 5 will allow for longer battery life, growth at speeds that can reach over 1GB, lower latency and greater data transfer. In addition, the new technology will enable capabilities such as remote medicine, autonomous vehicles and augmented and virtual reality.

Minister of Communications, Yoaz Handel: “The fifth generation tender has ended at a good time. We are at the beginning of a new era. I congratulate the winning companies. The retirement of Generation 5 in Israel will enable production engines (IoT) that new possibilities have been developed for the citizens of the State of Israel. ”

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