Communication Ministry is promoting a move designed to exempt Israelis abroad additional payment


by Ifi Reporter Category:Communication Sep 1, 2021

The Ministry of Communication is promoting a move designed to facilitate travel abroad and exempt Israelis from additional payment - and for this purpose last night it distributed information requirements to Israeli cellular companies, in order to get a snapshot of the field of roaming services.
If in the past Israelis who flew packages abroad were also offered NIS 50, today most companies offer very high prices - for a package that includes about 1,000 minutes of conversation, 1,000 messages and a surfing package of about 10 GB, about NIS 300. The move by the Ministry of Communications will meet with opposition from Israeli cellular companies.

Evidence of this is the sharp decline in corporate revenues following the closure of the sky during the corona crisis. Although the reports for the second quarter of 2021 marked a recovery for some of them, in the corresponding quarter in 2020 the decrease in revenue was mainly attributed to migration services.
The damage to roaming services is severe for companies for several reasons: the service is aimed primarily at audiences with financial capabilities, and especially the business sector, where customers are much less sensitive to price. The field is also non-competitive - customers are held captive by their cellular company, and can not purchase communications services abroad from a competing company, as is done, for example, in the field of domestic calls. This is the reason for the high prices of roaming services. Extremely high - according to estimates in the communications market, it reaches 95% of revenues, in other words, any damage to the roaming services (which could reach tens of millions of shekels) is expected to fall directly from the profits of the communications companies.
The process of the Ministry of Communications is a very preliminary stage of gathering information, and the road to signing the agreements is still long. The cellular companies themselves will also be able to object in the hearing process and thwart the move.
In a request to the cellular companies, signed by the director general of the Ministry of Communications, Liran Avishar Ben-Horin, the companies are explained that the ministry is considering the possibility of reaching a model similar to the one used in the EU. As part of the program - dubbed by the European Commission's communications regulator Roam like at Home - cellular operators have stopped charging extra when moving between countries, and the price they paid for appointments remained fixed as long as they were in the EU.
A letter sent from the Ministry of Communications stated that the goal is to reach agreements with other countries, based on a trend that is already taking place in the world. Thus, for example, there are agreements between countries that have a common cultural and cultural base such as the Balkans and the "Eastern Partnership" - a coalition of Eastern European countries that are in the advanced process of signing a regional migration agreement.
The ministry strives to reach agreements with media authorities in neighboring countries that are an attractive flight destination for Israelis, such as Greece, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, and later perhaps also the United States.
The information requirement from the cellular companies includes, among other things, usage data of calls, text messages and average browsing of a subscriber, according to a list of prominent destinations for Israelis; The amount of payment to foreign operators and the income of Israeli companies from migration services.




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