Israel’s Partner Communications confirmed Orange made an initial €15 million payment as part of the companies’ new framework agreement to ‘assess’ the use of the Orange brand in the country, as the Israeli operator reported falls in both Q2 revenue and profit.
The new framework agreement, which could see Orange pay up to €90 million if its brand licensing deal with Partner terminates within 24 months, was struck after Orange CEO Stephane Richard ignited a political row in the country in June.
At the time, the Orange head stated he would pull Orange out of the country “tomorrow morning” if contracts allowed, leading to involvement from the Israeli government insisting Richard should apologise.
Within its Q2 results released today, Partner Communications’ CEO Isaac Benbenisti said it is “currently conducting a market study regarding use of the Orange brand”, which is “aimed at assessing our position within the dynamics of the Israeli marketplace, while examining the company’s options”.
In the statement, Benbenisti added the country’s Ministry of Communications will now allow Partner to start using a 20 MHz chunk of spectrum for 4G “in the coming days”.
“The 20 MHz band together with our existing deployment of 1,400 4G sites will enable our customers to enjoy a significantly improved data experience,” he added.
The company will hope the cash injection from Orange, and its increased 4G presence. will lead to an upturn in its financial performance.
Partner reported $2 million profit for the period, an 80 per cent decrease from Q2 2014. It also saw a 4 per cent drop in total revenue, reaching $277 million for the same period, while its cellular subscriber base also fell by 6 per cent, to reach approximately 2.75 million at the quarter end.
“The second quarter results reflect the continued competition in the telecoms market in Israel,” noted Benbenisti.