Despite all the disputes and tensions between companies in the mobile phone market including merger talks, joint bids in the 5G tender were filed yesterday with the Ministry of Communications.
The bids were filed in order to obtain approval of the consortia, and in preparation for the next stage of the tender. Discussions of the form of the bids continued yesterday until the last minute, accompanied by considerable tension between the consortia, but the bids were eventually submitted.
Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) and HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (TASE: HOT) submitted a bid, as did Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL), Golan Telecom, and Xfone. Pelephone Communications Ltd. is submitting a bid by itself, so the current stage of the tender does not apply to it.
The bids were filed after a court dismissed a petition aimed at changing the tender terms. Following the court ruling, the Ministry of Communications decided to go ahead with the tender according to the original plan, under which several rounds in the tender will take place in the near future, until all of the frequencies being distributed by the Ministry of Communications in several frequency bands are allocated.
When the tender is completed and all of the frequencies allocated, a deployment race will begin, with the Ministry of Communications providing incentives to companies building 5G sites. For the operators, the frequencies to be allocated in the current stage will supplement their existing 4G networks. Full construction of 5G networks will not occur in the near future.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2020
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