Israel officially entered the 5G era as operators Hot Mobile, Partner Communications and Pelephone swiftly began marketing their resective services after receiving licences from the government.
Pelephone parent Bezeq Group stated the operator is “beginning to operate” frequencies won following a tender commenced in 2019 at sites which “have already been upgraded”. Partner Communications, meanwhile, used Twitter to state it is offering 5G services, with Globes reporting Hot Mobile had also gone live.
Ministry of Communications representative Eran Bar-Oz told The Times of Israel the operators have already deployed more than 200 5G antennas, with a goal to cover 25,000 sites in densely populated areas.
Pelephone stated it has at least one compatible mobile site in each of the country’s 150 cities and towns, but noted these are yet to provide full coverage.
The operators’ timing meets a goal outlined by the Ministry of Communications when it began the tender for 5G frequencies.
In a statement, the ministry said it awarded licences to the trio yesterday (29 September). Minister of Communications Yoaz Handel (pictured, left) noted 5G launches will “lead to the advancement of industry, high-tech, smart cities and IoT technology”.
Handel acknowledged Israel was lagging in terms of infrastructure and pledged to work towards advancing and “returning to leadership” in the communications sector.
He also called on companies and Israeli start-ups to realise the potential of 5G, to drive the “enormous economic potential” of the country.