Partner Communications Look for Independent Fiber Optic Infrastructure in Israel

Israel’s Partner Communications Company Ltd., says that they have submitted a letter to the Director-General of the Ministry of Communications regarding the examination done by the Company of several options for deploying a nationwide independent fixed-line infrastructure using fiber optic cables. Over the last few weeks, the Company has been conducting economic and feasibility studies of the project.

Partner’s goal would be to deploy a fiber optic infrastructure as part of its overall strategy to become a comprehensive telecommunications group. The independent, fiber-optic based infrastructure would allow the Company to offer faster internet services in Israel, as well as the transmission of advanced and high-quality television services. Among the alternatives being considered to deploy the infrastructure, the Company is focusing on taking advantage of the passive wholesale market that allows the installation of independent fixed-line infrastructure, including using Bezeq’s cable ducts.

The project’s success will require the support and assistance from the Ministry of Communications and other relevant regulatory entities.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. is now doing business as a partner in Israel. It was operating under the brand-name ‘Orange’ until recently (16 February 2016). Partner Communications is a mobile network operator, internet Wi-Fi and fixed telephony service provider in Israel. Partner was founded in 1999 and was the third mobile network operator to enter the Israeli market, competing with the two incumbent operators – Cellcom, which was founded in 1994 and the Pelephone, which was founded in 1986. When it was announced that the Ministry of Telecommunication would grant a third cellular network license it was thought that there is no room for another company; hence only two companies responded to the tender: Partner, and a group called “Tapuz”. After losing its bid, Tapuz (which incidentally means “Orange” in Hebrew) became a part of Partner.

When started operating in 1999, Partner was the first GSM cellular network in Israel. Other operators were using CDMA, TDMA, or iDEN technologies at that time. Partner’s introduction of GSM allowed the Israeli consumers to use their phones outside Israel with a similar network. The network was branded under the name “Orange” which was an international brand (France based telecom operator) registered under the name of Hutchison Whampoa Hong-Kong, which was the major initial investor in the company. The successful launch and promotion of the Orange brand is considered one of the best advertising efforts undertaken in Israel.

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