The Ministry of Communications has appointed a tender committee to formulate and draw up a tender for the allocation of a spectrum for the provision of advanced cellular services.
The tender committee was appointed due to the fact that the bandwidths currently allocated to cellular operators in Israel are significantly narrower than those in other advanced countries. Moreover, the current bandwidths are less effective, as cellular operators were not allocated sufficient bandwidths within the range of “the first gigahertz” (700 MHz to 900 MHz).
The allocation would be carried out at the following frequency bands: 694–960 MHz, 2,500–2,690 MHz, 3,400–3,600 MHz, and 3,600–3,800 MHz, and the tender committee’s letter of appointment clarifies that a number of principles must be followed when deciding the tender criteria. These principles include, inter alia:
- the maximum number of frequency bands to be offered in the tender will be decided depending upon the inventory of frequencies available for allocation at the time, according to guidelines the Ministry of Communications will issue to the tender committee;
- the tender committee will ascertain whether there is a need for recommendations to be submitted for the granting of preferences and reliefs to operators that won the previous cellular spectrum tender;
- the minimum price to be set as a license fee in the tender will be NIS 120 million;
- the tender is to be published by the end of 2018, subject to an agreement being reached in relation to the time frame for vacating frequency bands that will be re-allocated to the winners of the tender.