HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. announced this morning the launching of its fiber optic network. Hot CEO Tal Granot-Goldstein said that the company was at the dawn of a very major revolution.
She said, "The launch of Hot's fiber optic network is a defining moment. Ultimately we are a company in the forefront of technology both in fiber optics and 5G. This is going to stir up a dramatic revolution and give a push to the market. By 2025, we will reach two million households together with IBC."
"Hot is set to launch the service and today we are opening up for registration and that will take a couple of days. We were the first to launch 100 and 200 Mbps speeds in Israel and today we are offering national deployment of 1 Gbps. We'll offer everything under one roof and we will launch a range of services that will upgrade the viewer experience with a new router and improved reception. In another 10 days, we will publish the prices for the new packages."
Hot and Altice owner, the French Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi was in Tel Aviv for the launch. He recalled that he began investing in Israel in 2009 after he bought Hot's shares from Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI). "We then had revenue of €1 billion and since we invested in Hot it has brought us a lot of luck and we have reached €30 billion revenue worldwide."
He added, "Every modern state needs investment in fiber optic cables. Investment in fiber optics is an obsession with us and my son is also learning about the field. Our plan today is to expand the investment as quickly as possible for our customers. We would prefer to be the owner of a network but I'm delighted we have entered the investment with IBC."
He said that Altice hoped to have France networked with fiber optics by 2025 and that it would expand in Israel, Portugal and the US. "To date Altice has deployed fiber optics to 25 million homes. I feel at home in Israel, which is an important investment for Altice."
Drahi added, "So far there would have been no economic justification in investing in a fiber optics network. Only connecting with IBC has made a difference. They first suggested we join the venture in 2012 but there was no economic justification back then."
Last month Hot bought a 23% stake in IBC for NIS 170 million. Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) and the Israel Infrastructure Fund each hold 23% stakes and Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) has a 31% stake.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 3, 2021
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