Israel to Speed up Fiber Optic Network Deployment

The director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Communications, Shlomo Filber is forming a new strategic plan for a massive deployment of fiber optic networks to manage the bandwidths that would be demanded by the 5G applications. The Ministry’s main aim is to connect one million households to a fiber optic network by 2020. These fiber optic networks will help Israel to be on the list of the first 20 countries to adopt 5G.

Network deployment work as per the plan has already begun several weeks ago. Top officials of the Ministry of Communications are convening for lectures and discussions with the operators, who presented their views on the future needs and best structure for the market.

The second stage of the plan begins now, in which the Ministry of Communications deputy director generals start to draw up the targets through internal work teams. The plan contains six main items. In fiber-optics, plans are underway to find a way to connect one million households in Israel by 2020. Many buildings in Israel are already connected to a fiber-optic network, mainly through Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd.’s although the network is not scheduled to go live until next year. HOT Mobile Ltd. is also upgrading its network’s speeds, but its plans in this segment have not yet been revealed to the public.

In mobile, Ministry of the Economy deputy director-general Haran Levaot proposed making preparations now for Israel is among the 20 countries to adopt 5G networks, and proposed planning the frequencies for this now, thereby preventing a repetition of the 4G farce, which found Israel lagging behind in adopting the technology.

Another interesting subject it has been deciding to address is drafting a new Telecommunications Law. The existing law has not been updated, and the Ministry of Communications has decided that the time has come to adapt the law to the 21st century.

It was also learned that a work team will formulate recommendations on dealing with the Internet of Things (IoT), which has been making great strides throughout the world. This segment deals with connecting many home facilities to the Internet, such as electrical, water, and other systems. The cyber question will also be addressed. The Prime Minister’s Office is currently handling this matter through the Israel National Cyber Bureau, but it requires cooperation between ministries and with communications companies in order to prepare for threats.

The final element to be addressed is regulation. The Ministry of Communications will consider how to reduce regulation for communications companies and adapt it to the 21st century.

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