Israel mobile nets look to TV

Israel’s two largest mobile phone operators Cellcom and Partner Communications are planning television-over-Internet services.

Haim Romano, Partner’s chief executive, said the company was working to accelerate TV Internet services. “Once the conditions are ripe, Partner will offer an innovative, quality and attractive solution also in this area,” he said.
Cellcom CEO Nir Sztern also said he was examining Internet TV as well as an entry to the cellular credit card business.

The two companies need new revenue streams to adapt to a rapidly changing telecoms landscape. Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile operator, Partner, the No. 2 operator, and Bezeq unit Pelephone had dominated the sector for more than 12 years until six new operators entered the market this year.

Any new Internet TV ventures would need regulatory approval but Israel’s communications minister has pushed for such services to sharply lower consumers’ bills to around $25 a month, less than half what’s charged by cable company HOT and satellite TV provider YES, a unit of Bezeq.

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