Monday, June 2, 2014

Israel: Network Sharing Conditioned by Net Neutrality

The Anti-trust Authority in Israel approved a netwrok sharing agreement between Partner Israel and Hot Mobile, 2 of the 5 MNOs in Israel. Such sharing is required (beyond its obvious economic benefits) due to a shortage in LTE frequencies that does not allow all 5 MNOs to deploy their own set of antennas. As a result, the Ministry of Communicators published a new policy (here, Hebrew - some is translated in Partner press release - here), defining 5 levels of network sharing (from passive sharing of base stations and antennas to backhaul sharing.

As Hot mobile is part of the Hot group, a cable operator of TV and ISP services, as well as content provider, the permission by the Anti Trust Authority also requires Hot to conform to very strict Net Neutrality rules on its fixed services [See also "[Israel]: The Parliament Approves Net Neutrality (Fixed and Mobile) Law" - here]:

"Hot will not impose or enforce any restriction on the volume of fixed internet consumption of any customer; will not set the cost and quality of service based on accumulated volume .. will not limit or block the use of any service or application provided on the internet at any time, directly or indirectly, including by setting rates or use of technological means .. Hot's internet services will be sold and provided on equal terms to all customers, whether they buy additional services from Hot or not" (here, Hebrew).

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