Golan Telecom, HOT launch competing unlimited plans

The company is offering most aggressive prices in mobile market, based on operations in French market, French backer Xavier Niel.

By GAD PEREZ, GUY KATSOVICH / GLOBES
May 15, 2012 05:41
2 minute read.
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Golan Telecom Ltd., Israel’s first new mobile carrier since 1999, Monday launched its services at a press conference. The company is offering the most aggressive prices in the mobile market, based on operations in the French market and its French backer Xavier Niel.

“Maximum service at minimum price is our motto. Stop being suckers,” was Golan Telecom’s slogan at the press conference.

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Golan Telecom is offering an unlimited package of calls, SMS, and internet at NIS 99 per month. It will offer up to 2 gigabits of Internet access for free, above which access speed will be limited. The package will also offer free international calls to 29 destinations.

The company will also offer a special NIS 9.99 package, which includes 60 minutes of calls, 60 SMS messages, and 10 megabits of Internet access.

Golan Telecom controlling shareholder Michael Golan said, “The people are fed up. Today, we’re making a revolution in the mobile sector, and I hope that this will be just one important example that will spread a refreshing wind to other sectors that will build a better future for the next generation.

“Our ideal offer is simple. It begins with registration. We don’t know what we’re signing; you cannot compare.

At us, registration is only via the company’s website. Transparency is the second thing. We must stop the confusion between the handset and buying the SIM card, credit refunds in which nothing is understood. This method must be stopped; the confusion must be stopped. We only distribute the SIM card by mail. The SIM card will be sent to the customer by mail.”

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Golan added that he wants to give control to the consumer.

“Our website will be central. You can join, change plans, sever ties. It’s real freedom.”

Over the past few months, Golan Telecom has established its mobile network with assistance from France’s Free Telecom SAS. In contrast to the way Mirs Communications Ltd. established its network with Nokia Siemens Networks, Golan Telecom set up its network independently with contractors, and Nokia Siemens only sold the equipment.

Meanwhile, HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. subsidiary HOT Mobile Ltd. also launched its services Monday, offering an all-inclusive plan of NIS 89 per month. HOT plan includes unlimited calls and SMS, as well up to 3 gigabit Internet access.

HOT’s price is NIS 10 less than the unlimited calls, SMS, and internet plan announced by Golan. HOT Mobile will charge NIS 1 per minute for international calls, compared with Golan Telecom’s offer of international calls at no extra charge to 29 selected destinations.

HOT is also offering a discount plan “10 Agorot” a uniform charge of NIS 0.10 per minute for calls, NIS 0.10 per SMS, and NIS 0.10 per megabit of Internet access. The plan corresponds to Golan Telecom’s discount plan of NIS 9.99 per month for 60 minutes of calls, 60 SMS messages, and 10 megabits of internet access.

HOT Mobile's prefix is 053. It says that its 3.9G GSM network is state-of-the- art, and was set up at a cost of hundreds of millions of shekels by Nokia Siemens Networks.

On Monday, in a one-sentence notice to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, HOT said, “The company is honored to announce that HOT Mobile, Mirs Communications Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, will today begin the sale of advanced mobile services on a 3.9G GSM network.”

HOT’s share price fell 2.6% by midday to NIS 38.41, giving a market cap of NIS 3 billion.

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