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Minister Kahlon Plans to Continue Pushing his Cellular Reforms

Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon is not satisfied with the major revamping of the cellular telephone market launched with this week’s announced record-breaking low cell rates, and he plans to do more.

Kahlon announced that his next step is the price of ‘smart phones’, the Androids, iPhones, Blackberries and the like. He is determined to cut their price by tens of percent, and the new law will permit people to bring a phone from abroad, purchase a SIM card under the new system, and be up-and-running at a fraction of the cost one would have paid last week. The minister’s office is also working on converting the nation to IPTV (Internet Protocol TV), wishing to introduce additional competition into that market. The minister indicates that a monthly package costing 300-400 NIS today will be about 140 NIS after the introduction of the new system.

Kahlon adds that the new system will significantly assist Orange and Partner, now licking the wounds of the cellular telephone reform, but they will have the added market of the internet TV. “HOT Mobile will not be in the running because it is connected to HOT (cable TV) and Pelephone is connected to Yes (Satellite TV), so the latter is also out of the competition here”, the minister explained.

The minister has already turned to the Justice Ministry with a request to eliminate the inspection process by which a private person who brings his own phone from abroad must have it ‘approved’ before he can be hooked into the system. The minister explains that this alone will result in a reduction in the price of smart phones by tens of percent. This will result in many more importers and a more competitive market, benefiting consumers who are looking to buy such a phone.

This new reforms will have a major impact on visitors as well, at least those staying for a while, such as the post high schoolers attending a yeshiva or seminary. According to the new regulations, some still unfolding, it will be far less expensive to buy a SIM and pay a flat monthly rate of 100 NIS for unlimited service than to take a rental.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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