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Research by Country/Region January 21, 2018  
Israel: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access

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INTRODUCTION

The telecommunication market in Israel has undergone major changes since 1994. The Ministry of Communication (MOC) has worked to transform a government-dominated market into one that is competitive and customer-focused. On July 25, 2001, the Israeli Parliament passed the 25th Amendment of the telecommunication law, proposed by the MOC. This Amendment ended Bezeq’s monopoly in the Israeli telecom market.

Fixed: Israel has 3.2 million exchange lines covering 50% of the population. Cellular: There are 5.6 million mobile customers in Israel, covering 90% of the population, on four networks. Israel has one of the world’s highest cellular telephone penetration rates. Broadcast: There are 1.5 million households connected to multi-channels subscriber television. The TV market comprises three cable television operators (MATAV, TEVEL, and Golden Channels), and a single DBS (Direct Broadcasting Satellite) operator, YES, that began operations in July 2000 using Israel’s Amos-1 communications satellite. Internet: The number of Internet users is growing fast. 42% of the population and 60% of businesses were using the Internet in 2001. There are about 60 Internet Service Providers (ISP’s).

A. CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO WORLDWIDE/BROADBAND FIXED WIRELESS ACCESS BAND (3.4 TO 3.7 GHZ), LMDS (28 TO 31 GHZ) AND UNLINCENSED BANDS?

The Ministry of Communication (MOC) may open part of the 3.4 to 3.7 GHz for Wireless Local Loop. They will open the 26 GHz for LMDS and in the future may also open the 28 GHz band.

B. DEMAND OR NEED FOR BFW SERVICES

Currently, there is no BFW service available in Israel, because the frequencies are not available. It is needed in some areas of the country to supplement service to areas hard to reach by land-based optical or wire infrastructure. As an indicator of the possible future strength of the market, the current wireless technology is doing well. The MOC opened RLAN IEEE.802.b channels 5, 6 and 7, which is a wireless protocol that uses the 2 to 11 MHz frequencies. They may also soon open the 5.8 Ghz band for BFW. The ministry anticipates that when it approves the 3.5 Ghz band and the 26 GHz band, the demand for 3.5 Ghz frequencies is liable to outstrip the supply, but the single 26 Ghz band will meet the entire demand for that range of frequencies.

C. LICENSING

The MOC will be opening “hot spots,” or public wireless networks which can be linked to broadband of all types, unlicensed and unprotected but will require type approval from the MOC. Type approval will only be issued to Israeli entities. The exporter can obtain information about a License from the MOC, thru Mr. Kammay who can be reached at 972-3-5198228 and information about type approval can be obtained thru Mr. Noy at 972-3-5198262

D. FOREIGN OWENSHIP LIMITS

License and type approval is required and will only be issued to Israeli entities. U.S. exporters will need to work with a local agent or a local service provider.

E. INTERCONNECTION TARIFFS

The BFW market in Israel needs to be developed. The MOC has not assigned yet LMDS & WLL frequency bands to the operators. The MOC told us that they are expected to do so by the end of 2003. Therefore, there is no interconnect regime or price regulation on BFW. The MOC anticipates that BFW service providers will negotiate separately with network operators.

G. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE BFW SERVICES BEING OFFERED BY DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL FIRMS?

Since the BFW market in Israel is undeveloped, it’s difficult to measure its potential and size at this stage. Bezeq Israel’s national telecommunications provider is offering a similar service called “WOW net” a home service operating on a regular wireless LAN, connecting up to 5 devices to the same home network. Bezeq started promoting “WOW net” this year. There are a number of BFW equipment providers in Israel, including Alvarion, Airspan, Wave IP and Vyyo.

H. CURRENT LIST OF BFW ACCESS PROVIDERS

There are none at this juncture, but companies are poised to offer this service soon.

I. CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES, AND IMPORT DUTIES

Most of the regulations and certifications required to import BFW equipment are the same as would be required to import other communications equipment to Israel. The MOC is the sole regulator; Israeli customs will not allow the import of communication devices without a written approval from the MOC.

Below is the contact at the MOC in charge of licensing and type approval. U.S. – exporters will needs to work with a local agent or a local service provider. Companies can refer to the MOC website for a copy of the documents, www.moc.gov.il, press on; 1) Organizational Structure 2) Documents for Downloading 3) Type Approval Contact person at the MOC is: Chaim Mazar; Deputy Director Spectrum Management & Frequency Licensing, Div.Vice Chairman ITU-R study Group 9, 972 3 5198222; 972 56 236222; mazarh@moc.gov.il, 9 Ahad Ha'am St. P.O.Box 29107, Tel Aviv 61290, ISRAEL

In general, Israel offers an excellent commercial environment for U.S. companies.
The United States-Israel Free Trade Area Agreement (FTAA) eliminated most trade barriers. The FTAA also provides for a joint committee comprised of representatives from both countries to review the functioning of the agreement. Israel is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). American goods face no import duties. However, products are still subject to Value Added Tax (VAT)- currently 18%- and purchase tax. Israel increased the VAT to 18% effective June 15, 2002, on all services and products sold in Israel (except fresh fruits and vegetables), including imports. The VAT on imports is levied on the CIF landed cost plus purchase tax. VAT is recovered by the importer upon resale of goods and is ultimately paid by the consumer.

In order to benefit from the provisions of the FTAA, a special "U.S. Certificate of Origin for Exporting to Israel" (CO) must be presented to the Israeli Customs. The certificate does not need to be notarized or stamped by a Chamber of Commerce if the exporter is also the manufacturer. Instead, the exporter should make the following declaration in box 11 of the certificate: "The undersigned hereby declares that he is the producer of the goods covered by this certificate and that they comply with the origin requirements specified for those goods in the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Area Agreement for goods exported to Israel."

RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Tel Aviv, Israel, in June 2003. For further clarification please contact:

Sigal Mendelovich
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commecial Service, Tel Aviv
Sigal.Mendelovich@mail.doc.gov

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