Golan Telecom Ltd. is finishing 2014 with a record 137,000 new subscribers, leaving HOT Mobile Ltd. far behind in second place with 90,000. Golan Telecom acquired almost 10,000 more net subscribers in December than HOT Mobile, and it appears that the company's recent bargain campaign, launched yesterday (a second line for only NIS 2) is a forceful statement of its intention to remain the leader in subscriber recruitment next year also.
Golan Telecom recruited 317,000 new subscribers in 2014, while losing 180,000. HOT Mobile recruited 344,000 new subscribers and lost 255,000, thereby again proving that its problem is subscribers leaving the company for various reasons, quite possibly on account of its customer service.
The most significant achievement in 2014 belonged to Pelephone Communications Ltd., which lost only 30,000 net subscribers during the year. Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) lost 118,000 net subscribers, and Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) 109,000.
The strategy of Pelephone, which recruited 570,000 subscribers and lost 600,000, is to maintain its market share at any price. Partner, on the other hand, decided in December to withdraw from the struggle over every customer, and halted its aggressive price cutting. As a result, the company lost more net customers in December than Cellcom and Pelephone combined.
Partner also recruited the fewest subscribers as a result of its strategy: only 514,000. Cellcom recruited 603,000 and lost 722,000. Partner also operates the 012 brand, but this is not included in the figures for movement between companies, because the 012 figures are counted for Partner.
The yearly figures show that the virtual operators have ceased to be a significant factor in the market. Rami Levi recruited only a net 16,000 subscribers, while Alon Cellular's (YouPhone) growth has simply ground to a halt.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 1, 2015
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