Israel's Bezeq to lease infrastructure to rivals

Israel's Bezeq to lease infrastructure to rivals

Bezeq Telecom has agreed to give other rival operators access to its fixed broadband infrastructure in return for licence concessions from regulators.

The carrier will lease its DSL network to Partner Communications, allowing it to launch bundled internet, voice, media and television services, and is also in talks for a similar deal with Israel’s leading mobile operator Cellcom.

In return for providing wholesale access to its network Bezeq wants the regulator to ease restrictions on its licence, allowing it to increase its stake in Israeli satellite TV provider Yes. This would allow Bezeq to provide bundled mobile, TV and internet services.

“The company believes that entering into the agreement could benefit the likelihood (although this is not certain) of reliefs from the Antitrust Commissioner in connection with increasing the company's holdings in D.B.S. Satellite Services (1998) Ltd. ("Yes") and greater cooperation with it,” Bezeq said in a statement.

Cable operator HOT is also being forced to lease its infrastructure as Israel’s Communications Ministry looks to create a wholesale telecoms market in the country.

The process began in Israel’s mobile sector, resulting in the entry of six new operators and damaging the revenue and net profit of the three largest operators Cellcom, Partner and Bezeq unit Pelephone.

A Bezeq spokeman told Reuters that a deal with Partner would likely be reached at some point in 2013.

Gift this article