Motorola has asked for bids for Mirs Communications’ iDEN network in Israel to be submitted by the middle of this month. According to Israeli business newspaper, Globes, all three of the country’s major mobile operators have bid for their smaller rival despite the fact that both Israel’s Ministry of Communications and the country’s Antitrust Authority are opposed to them acquiring the company. The report claims that the operators are ignoring the regulatory objections at this stage as they are confident that the antitrust concerns “can be solved if and when there is a deal.”
Mirs is a subsidiary of Motorola that uses the proprietary iDEN mobile technology developed and supported by the US vendor. However, Cellular News notes that Mirs has been looking to switch to a 3G technology after it was recently barred from bidding for a WiMAX license. According to Wireless Intelligence data, Mirs is the smallest mobile network in Israel with 574,000 connections by the end of 2Q09, giving it a 6 percent market share. Its three larger rivals linked to its acquisition are Cellcom (3.2 million connections), Orange (2.9 million) and Pelephone (2.7 million).